February 15, 2012
This Week in Review: Bill to Set Arsenic Limit, and renewal of Food Safety discussion

More than likely the apple juice you have in your refrigerator have arsenic in it. There is a 10 percent chance that the amount of arsenic in your juice is higher than the federal drinking-water standards according to a consumer report published in January. The federal limit of arsenic for public water is 10 parts per billion. But, there is no federal limit for arsenic in juice.

That is why on Feb. 8, 2011 Representative Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., introduced a bill that would make food safety advocates happy. The new bill would require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to set the limit for arsenic in fruit juices.

The Arsenic Prevention and Protection from Lead Exposure in Juice Act of 2012 is a response to a finding released by Consumer Report that found higher level of arsenic in apple juice than the federal standards for drinking water.

FDA describes arsenic as a substance that is available in the environment naturally or as a “result of contamination from human activity.”

The U.S. imports food from all over the world. According to the USDA, more than 90 percent of apple juice in the U.S. is imported from Chile, China, Argentina, New Zealand and Canada.

The discussion about presence of arsenic in juice began last year when Dr. Mehmet Oz, the host of Dr. Oz Show announced during his daytime T.V. show that there is higher level of arsenic present in apple juice. Everyone was virtually caught by surprise when he said, “We are poisoning our own family,” in Sept. 2011. Lawyers of Nestle that makes Juicy Juice asked him to retract his statement. He refused to do so and helped spark a national discussion about the level of arsenic in apple juice and the effects it can have on our body.

Arsenic can be found everywhere and has the potential to pose health risk. On Feb. 8, Baltimore Sun reported that farmers have stopped feeding their chicken a drug that contains arsenic after a 2011 government study showed that arsenic in chicken might be causing cancers in humans.

Baltimore Sun also reported the FDA is still investigating whether arsenic should be fully banned from the food and if arsenic present in food is really a health threat or not.
The discussion whether arsenic is harmful and how it should be regulated is bound to continue for a while.  

2:03pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZkSf6yGSzApX
Filed under: ravi arsenic