Friday, July 12, 2013

FDA Proposes Limit on Arsenic Levels in Apple Juice

On July 12, 2013, a draft guidance, which would limit the amount of inorganic arsenic in apple juice, was released by FDA. Arsenic is present in the environment in both organic and inorganic forms. Organic arsenic is naturally occurring and does not present any health risks. Inorganic arsenic is a naturally occurring mineral and was introduced to the environment due to the use of arsenic-containing pesticides. Inorganic arsenic is a known carcinogen and may pose a cancer risk if consumed at high levels or over a long period of time.

In 2008, FDA set the amount of inorganic arsenic allowed in apple juice at 23 parts per billion and under the proposal the level would be set at 10 parts per billion. FDA stressed that currently the levels of inorganic arsenic in the majority of apple juice is already below this level. Last year, FDA released findings showing 95% of samples taken from apple juice tested below 10 parts per billion of total arsenic and 100% of the samples tested below 10 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic. Consumer Reports, which previously pushed the FDA to set limits on arsenic in apple juice, applauded FDA’s decision in a press release.
For more information on this topic, please see FDA’s website and press release.

Written by Clara E. Conklin - Research Assistant
The Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center
July 12, 2013

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