Arsenic in Your Apple Juice? Dr. Oz Raises Contamination Fears
What happened: Dr. Mehmet Oz, the well-known integrative physician with a daily health-themed television talk show, announced this fall that he had conducted an independent study of several apple juice brands and discovered trace amounts of the cancer-causing heavy metal arsenic in the products. Gerber, Motts, Minute Maid, Apple & Eve, and Juicy Juice were among the brands tested, all of which contained detectable arsenic. Most were within the 23 parts per billion allowed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, though Oz urged the FDA to lower the allowable level to 10 parts per billion.
Why it's controversial: The FDA objected to Oz's measurement of "total arsenic" in his study, saying that its standards are based on distinguishing between organic and inorganic arsenic compounds. Juice companies also took exception to Oz's methods, especially Gerber, whose products were found to have the highest arsenic level (36 parts per billion). Parents were left to assess their family's juice choices amid the flurry of information and debate.
How it impacted your life: You got an education in heavy metals you never thought you'd need when pouring juice for your kids. And many of you took the opportunity to follow nutritionists' recommendations that kids curb their juice intake altogether, choosing whole fruits to eat and water to drink.