The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States is now looking to set new limits for the inorganic arsenic content of apple juice.
On July 12, the FDA issued a press release saying that it would be best if companies making and marketing apple juice were required by low to make sure arsenic levels did not exceed those already established for drinking water.
This means that, according to the FDA, arsenic concentrations in apple juice should not exceed 10 parts per billion.
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today proposed an 'action level' of 10 parts per billion (ppb) for inorganic arsenic in apple juice. This is the same level set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for arsenic in drinking water,” the FDA writes in its press release.
The FDA explains that, since it is present in the environment, inorganic arsenic often works its way into the food supply chain.
Part of the arsenic found in the environment is naturally occurring. However, some of it hits the natural world due to the fact that some people use of arsenic-containing pesticides.
Several studies have shown that exposure to this chemical compound can cause skin lesions, impair development, trigger cardiovascular disease and foster diabetes.
Therefore, the FDA maintains that its decision to set new limits for arsenic is intended to help better protect public health.
“The FDA is committed to ensuring the safety of the American food supply and to doing what is necessary to protect public health,” FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D explains.
By the looks of it, tests carried out by scientists working with the FDA show that, although very strict limits for the arsenic content of apple juice are not yet in place, neither kids nor adults run major risks of becoming sick should they consume this beverage.
“We have been studying this issue comprehensively, and based on the agency’s data and analytical work, the FDA is confident in the overall safety of apple juice for children and adults,” Margaret A. Hamburg stresses.
“While the levels of arsenic in apple juice are very low, the FDA is proposing an action level to help prevent public exposure to the occasional lots of apple juice with arsenic levels above those permitted in drinking water,” specialist Michael R. Taylor wishes to emphasize.
Now that the FDA has released its proposal to better regulate arsenic levels in apple juice, the public has 60 days to comment on it.