And the Scary Juice News Just Keeps On Coming

Over Christmas, I joked that I was the only mom who was trying to get her kid to drink juice. As we were flying from NYC to Columbus, OH, to visit my family, I mixed a bit of orange juice into Mason’s water, since we didn’t have any whole milk on hand and he wasn’t interested in plain water. He stared at it, took a sip, shot me a disgusted look, and threw his bottle into the aisle. Well, excuse me. On Christmas Eve, at my grandma’s house, my niece was guzzling grape juice so I gave him a sip of the stuff and got pretty much the same reaction. My third and final attempt to give him juice took place at my in-law’s house in Bluefield, West Virginia. My mother-in-law was concerned that Mason was drinking too much milk, particularly since he was very congested (and she felt that milk can make mucus worse), so she suggested I give him tea. No dice. Then she suggested apple juice, and we struck out again. It was clear that Mason wanted his whole milk and whole milk only, so why keep torturing the kid?

Now I’m thinking perhaps his aversion to juice was a blessing in disguise–but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a Worst Case Scenario Mom when it comes to food safety. Perhaps I’m freaked out unnecessarily, you be the judge.

In the wake of unsettling reports that arsenic was discovered in several major apple juice brands last September, Coco-Cola is reporting fungicide in its orange juice. Parents.com’s news blogger Holly Lebowitz Rossi reports: “Coca-Cola, which manufactures both the Simply Orange and Minute Maid brands of orange juice, has reported to federal regulators that the company has detected low levels of the fungicide carbendazim in its juice and in an unnamed competitors’ juice.  The fungicide, which is illegal for use on food in the United States, is widely used against mold on orange trees in Brazil, which exports orange juice to many U.S. companies.” There has not been a recall, according to MSNBC.com, because the FDA says that levels of the fungicide were too low to warrant pulling the orange juice off of supermarket shelves.

Do these juice reports freak you out? If so, will you change the kind of juice you give to your kid, or stop giving your kid juice all together?

Photo: Image via Shutterstock

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  1. by Tiffany

    On January 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    eep.
    i suppose i’ll just stick with juicy juice(watered down) and those gerber fruit splashers.
    i have my own aversion to orange juice from when i was pregnant and i really haven’t wanted any in almost 2 years.

  2. by Christie

    On January 14, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Gah, my husband just bought Simply Orange last night and my daughter had some for breakfast this morning. Wonder if I should call her doctor?

  3. by Jenna

    On January 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Its simple. Buy organic and made in the U.S only when it comes to juice and most all fruits. The big name companies that people are supposed to trust based on all the big bucks they spend advertising are usually the worst quality when it comes to this stuff. You can find plenty of made in the US options and they typically have very few ingredients other than apples and water for example. Good luck parents!

  4. by Tara

    On January 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    I am scared about this I am 18 weeks pregnant and all I have been drinking is orange juice.

  5. by Bee

    On January 14, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    I agree we should drink organic. But I haven’t been & I’m also pregnant. Those were my two favorite brands with the +calcium :( My husband days we would be surprised if we really knew all that we ingest while consuming our favorite brands! It dosen’t put my mind at ease:( Does anyone know of any health risks this can pose?

  6. by Tiffany

    On January 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    We give my daughter Honest Kids throughout the day along with organic 2% milk and water. Occasionally we will buy Tropicana 50 pomegranate juice and bolthouse farms juices, but since they are not organic it is not often. Juice and milk are two of the main things we make sure we buy organic for her.

  7. by Dawn

    On January 14, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Arsenic is naturally found in apples, so I wouldn’t be too worried. With all the pasturing that takes place, the amount you or the child is actually exposed to is nothing to worry about. As for the orange juice, my daughter isn’t fond of it, but I have gone through 3 containers in the last month and I haven’t gotten sick. Until there is some reported case of the fungicide actually causing hospitalization, I am not going to stress about it, because most of this media hype is exactly what it is, just hype and scare tactics.

  8. by Rosa

    On January 14, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Make your own. Juice that way. You know its safe. And nothing is in it but fruit:)

  9. by Rosa

    On January 14, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Make your own. Juice so You know its safe. And nothing is in it but fruit :)

  10. by Tanya S.

    On January 14, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    First off I want to say that milk causeing thicker or worse mucus is listed under “old wives tale” not “fact”. Also juice is not necessary in childrens diets. Water and milk are. As long as kids are eating fruits they dont need juice. I think this article is an unnessesary scare. Do you know how much crap is in our everyday foods/drinks. There are requirements on how much gross stuff can be in our imported food/drinks. If the FDA says the amount is to low to take it off the shelves then we shouldnt be talking about it. Its more for us to worry about.

  11. by Christy P

    On January 14, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    To: by Tiffany…. and others…

    Juicy Juice is completely form China…I called their company one day standing in the Juice isle b/c I noticed on the side of a bottle said “Made in China” I wanted to know if it was the container or the juice inside. Their response was both….
    Never bought it again..
    On January 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm
    eep.
    i suppose i’ll just stick with juicy juice(watered down) and those gerber fruit splashers.
    i have my own aversion to orange juice from when i was pregnant and i really haven’t wanted any in almost 2 years.

  12. by Heather Morgan Shott

    On January 14, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Thank you for your feedback! As I said, I become Worst Case Scenario Mom with stuff like this, so I really appreciate your perspective:)

  13. by Sarah mom

    On January 14, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    This really doesn’t have to do with the juice per-say, however there are alot in our foods/drinks that the FDA approves “safe” I saw s show and one thing I remembered was that the myth question being asking is do we injest bugs in our food, inparticular spiders. Yes! In our food peanutbutter being the worst because it is so hard to get all bug particals out. And the expert said we injest 200 spiders per life time in the size and weight of a small daddy long legs. That’s not the only spider we ingest however and not just spiders bugs to and like I said they said peanutbutter is the worst and that’s nut the only food. Do I still eat peanutbutter YES what’s a bug or 2 or 200 in a lifetime when other cultures eat them whole on on a regularly basis. And organic is not always better they can have less nutrition and not be truly organic. I can go in about that to read about organic myself. Just make sure your kids are having well balanced diets. Taking a muti-vitamin if nessacary. Do the best you can and fo worry so much they will be fine if they aren’t have to much of somethings and to little of others no matter what brand you buy. Good luck parents in the worry part. I’m a parent who worries to it’s are job and it means your doing it right as long as it’s not stressing you or you kids out. With love Me

  14. by judy

    On January 16, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    That’s just another reason to avoid pre-packaged juice. I say go buy fresh oranges from your local farmer’s market when in season and juice them yourself, to be sure they are the freshest! The boxed oj you buy most likely have been sitting around for up to a year and have had “flavor packs” injected for the trademark taste which are the same all year round.

    http://consumerist.com/2011/07/oj-flavor-packs.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/29/100-percent-orange-juice-artificial_n_913395.html

  15. by Kristin

    On January 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    To Dawn:

    Pasteurization does not remove all harmful substances. It kills harmful organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Many beneficial bacteria are retained. Chemical elements and compounds are not affected by the pasteurization process and remain in the juice, milk, etc.

    Additionally, the primary concerns surrounding pesticides and fungicides in food do not have to do with acute illnesses (i.e. hospitalization), but rather their contribution to various chronic illnesses (asthma, diabetes, ADHD/ADD, cancer, gastrointestinal problems, etc.)

  16. by Kathy

    On January 19, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    These reports are concerning, but I’m not sure they should induce fear. I believe that if there was a serious problem, large groups of people around the U.S would be cropping up sick. It may take them a while to figure out the problem, but I think it would come out. If the FDA said that the level was not high enough to warrant taking off the shelf, this tells me that it’s not harmful. (Not that I think any level is good). I try as much as I can to buy all meat/dairy and produce organic to avoid all the excess chemicals. But I also understand that we have some of these chemicals in our systems at all times and it’s not toxic. We have a natural filtration system. If we eat healthy, exercise, drink plenty of fluids, a lot of these toxins are cleansed out naturally.

  17. by Ashlee

    On January 21, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Tiffany i’d be careful with Juicy Juice their brand tested the 3rd highest for arsenic levels and Gerber tested 1st.

  18. by Jody Roberson

    On April 17, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Well I for one am very concerned… arsenic has been found in the juices and Rice… This is not something to wait to hear from the manufactures, they are counting on people NOT taking it too seriously… Arsenic does not leave the body, and is unclear just what it can do or cause… with the increase in many illnesses of young children,
    I think it is time we all demand this to be address by the FDA and the medical professionals.
    I mean.. Rice??? I give rice cereal – rice with meals…and now juice??? What are we doing…To not be concerned is negligence on our part…
    Buying organic is not a sure bet either.. we need real answers for the medcial professionals and I don’t mean calming reports…I mean real answers and what is being done about it… I for one am not feeding rice cereal any more… and juice, well I am buying only grown in America and squeezing myself.. I will not buy any of the boxed stuff at all… never have felt they are a good deal..just convenient… don’t think the convenience is worth the “unknown risk” I will take the extra time to squeze my own and put in to to go cups… Everyone needs to demand some answers here… not the ho hum “just scare tactic”
    It has been reported and needs to be followed up.