How Much Arsenic
Is In Apple Juice?

Dr. Oz made headlines when he suggested that parents should be concerned about the levels of arsenic in apple juice. The FDA, however, disagrees. So, who's correct? Could apple juice be dangerous?


Dr. Oz set the internet ablaze when he suggested that apple juice contains concerning levels of arsenic and that parents should take note. He said that we're very careful about protecting our children from arsenic in the environment in the U.S. -- keeping the water supply safe and keeping it out of pesticides -- but not all countries have those standards. He points out 60% of our apples come from overseas.

He conducted tests and concluded that the levels of arsenic in apple juice were high. Still, he didn't suggest that parents empty out those containers of apple juice in their fridge and never buy it again.

"I want everyone out there who has already purchased apple juice to keep drinking it," Dr. Oz said to ABC News. "I don't have any concerns about it in the short run. My bigger concern is over the next decade or the next generation. We may be exposing our kids to needlessly high levels of arsenic."

The Food and Drug Administration, however, disagrees. In a statement posted on its website, the FDA explains, "The FDA's test results do not support the findings of the Dr. Oz Show, and, in fact, are significantly less (2 to 6 ppb) than the levels found by the television program's analysis. Moreover, the vast majority of apple juice samples tested by the FDA over that past 20 years show that apple juice typically contains less than 10 ppb total arsenic."

The FDA also posted copies of two letters it sent to The Dr. Oz Show producer, explaining that the tests used to conclude that the arsenic levels in apple juice were not correct.

"The FDA believes that it would be irresponsible and misleading for The Dr. Oz Show to suggest that apple juice contains unsafe amounts of arsenic based solely on tests for total arsenic," the FDA concluded in its first letter. "Should The Dr. Oz Show choose to suggest that apple juice is unsafe because of the amounts of total arsenic found by EMSL Analytical, Inc.'s testing, the FDA will post this letter on its website."

The FDA then sent a second letter to Dr. Oz, citing test results that did not support those offered by Oz. The L.A. Times reports that Dr. Oz isn't backing down and that he has scheduled a follow-up show for Sept. 21.

Tell us:

What do you think? Are you concerned about the level of arsenic in apple juice? Or do you think Dr. Oz's apple juice claims are blown out of proportion?

Tags: dr oz

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Comments on "Apple juice faceoff: Dr. Oz vs. the FDA"

Larry Clive February 16, 2012 | 3:56 AM

Considering that the FDA allows dead and diseased animals to be used by agribusiness to feed our beloved pets, and is a revolving door to agribusiness patronage jobs, and seems to want to keep us in the dark when it comes to labeling of Genetically Modified foods, both plant and animal, why should we trust them at all ? What if it is their laboratory results that are wrong ? After all, big agribusiness needs to make their profits on apple juice too ! Even if it poisons the children of the 99% of Americans. The top 1% can always get their food free of arsenic. They can afford it.

Janessa October 21, 2011 | 10:55 AM

I read on the FDA site that they test for this but does that mean they actually fly out to China and other countries and test the water supply and apples out there? Our society is at an age where many of us are trying to limit the amount of doctor visits we need. Half my bloodline is plagued with cancers and I WANT to know about findings like this. I drink a lot of apple juice because it is supposed to be safe and healthy. Dr. Oz did me a favor and I believe the FDA is not doing their job. The FDA better set strict guidelines for juice just like it does for water and then ENFORCE it. Period.

Ray September 21, 2011 | 2:58 PM

Arsenic tastes delicious

Lindsay September 16, 2011 | 5:22 PM

Really, all the doc is saying is that apple juice made from apples NOT grown in the US could contain higher levels that if consumered over a long period of time could, not would, lead to concerns. So what is the doc really saying, BUY AMERICAN, how hard can that be to figure out. Over-reaction again. Obama would appreciate the message but the FDA takes it personal, REALLY.

Jenniffer Rose September 16, 2011 | 4:20 PM

I believe that arsenic should in no way be added to any kind of food or drinks. I also believe that groups such as the FDA and other government programs do things that are questionable and cover it up till someone like DR.OZ tells the public the truth. Companies that want their food to be bigger and prettier. Who the hell cares. More people are being diagnosed with cancers and allergies and skin issues that use to not be such a big problem!!! Its all about money! Ratings and money

Cora Poirier September 16, 2011 | 1:25 PM

I am with Dr. Oz. How much is is to much to give to little ones? There shouldn't be any question of how much arsenic is in the juice, there shouldn't even be a speck in there!!! Is this in all the apple juices?

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