The FDA has proposed a change in the maximum allowable level for inorganic arsenic in apple juice. The new level of 10 parts per billion (ppb) — down from 23 ppb — is the same level set by the EPA for arsenic in drinking water.
U.S. Apple Association (USApple) has long supported responsible, research-based approaches to safety and quality of apple products. The apple industry has worked with FDA for years to ensure the safety of juice sold to consumers. Upon final ruling of the proposed arsenic levels, juice producers will continue their current practice of complying with FDA standards.
Apple juice is a valuable source of nutrients that help promote good health in children and adults. The USDA’s dietary guidelines recognize that a four-ounce glass equals a serving of fruit. Safety is the industry’s number one priority, and consumers can feel confident that they are drinking a healthy, delicious, safe beverage.
“Based on the agency’s data and analytic work, the FDA is confident in the overall safety of apple juice for children and adults,” FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., stated, citing the agency’s comprehensive study of the issue.
Last year FDA released findings from its latest data collection and analysis of 94 samples of arsenic in apple juice. That analysis showed that 100% of the samples were below 10 ppb for inorganic arsenic, the form in question. Ninety-five percent of the samples tested were below 10 ppb for both inorganic and organic arsenic.
Juice processors routinely follow strict federal standards in handling, processing, and packaging their products. Facilities are inspected by both state and federal agencies. In addition, processors often set high internal quality standards, including hiring third party laboratories or in-house research and quality assurance staff to run analysis and assure safety standards.
Arsenic is a common, naturally occurring element in the environment to which humans have been exposed for thousands of years.