Apple juice safe despite arsenic, FDA tells Dr. Oz
(CBS) Is apple juice safe to drink? Popular TV doctor Memhet Oz caused a stir when he said on his TV show this week that juice products may pose a health risk because testing had revealed that they contain arsenic.
But the FDA fired back.
"There is no evidence of any public health risk from drinking these juices," the agency said on its website. "And FDA has been testing them for years."
Dr. Donald Zink, senior science advisor at the agency's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said on the site that arsenic occurs naturally in the environment and can be found in certain food products, including fruit juices and juice concentrates. But the agency says the levels are too low to pose a threat to human health.
Dr. Richard Besser, former acting head of the CDC, scolded Oz Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America" show for scaring consumers with what Besser called an "extremely irresponsible" report, the Associated Press reported.
Juice manufacturers piled on, as did the Juice Products Association. It posted on its website a statement calling apple juice safe and the tests on which Dr. Oz based his claims potentially flawed.
"The results of tests for arsenic in apple juice that were shared by the Dr. Oz Show with the Juice Products Association should not be interpreted as fact," the statement said. " Subsequent testing of the same lots of juice from two of the named brands, using an appropriate method for testing arsenic levels in juice, found significantly lower levels of arsenic, all well under any FDA level of concern."
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