July 12 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
has proposed to put a limit on the amount of inorganic arsenic
found in apple juice, comparable to the allowed level of arsenic
in drinking water.
The FDA has proposed a limit of 10 parts per billion (ppb)
for inorganic arsenic in apple juice. This is the same level set
by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for arsenic in
drinking water. (link.reuters.com/jac69t)
Inorganic arsenic may be found in foods as it is present in
the environment, both as a naturally occurring mineral and due
to activities such as the use of arsenic-containing pesticides.
A known carcinogen, inorganic arsenic has also been
associated with skin lesions, developmental effects,
cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity and diabetes.
"While the levels of arsenic in apple juice are very low,
the FDA is proposing an action level to help prevent public
exposure to the occasional lots of apple juice with arsenic
levels above those permitted in drinking water," said FDA's
deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, Michael
The FDA has been monitoring the presence of arsenic in apple
juice for the past 20 years and has consistently found that
samples contain low levels of arsenic, with few exceptions, the
agency said on its website.
The proposal was applauded by non-profit, independent
product-testing organization Consumer Reports, which called it a
"reasonable first step in protecting consumers from unnecessary
exposure to arsenic."
"Now that the FDA has released its proposed guidance, we
look forward to analyzing the agency's risk assessment,
submitting comments, and continuing the dialogue on this
important public health issue," said Urvashi Rangan, Director of
Consumer Safety and Sustainability at the organization.
(Reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Sreejiraj