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Care for arsenic with your juice drink?

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Care for arsenic with your juice drink?

Postby Beaver » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:33 pm

A Consumer Reports study found arsenic in Apple and Grape juice. I'm going to buy organic juice from now on.

http://health.yahoo.net/articles/nutrit ... c-in-juice
Toxic Levels of Arsenic Found in Popular Juice Brands
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Re: Care for arsenic with your juice drink?

Postby ArturoBandini » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:23 am

The organic brands listed in the study still show As levels on par with the non-organic brands. For example, the Whole Foods-branded organic juice tested at 6-7 ppb while the various cheapo labels from Walmart tested between 2-6 ppb. There likely isn't any way to easily escape this trace element.

I'd be interested to know what the As content of apple juice grown on virgin dirt would be - there may be some background As that is unavoidable regardless of agricultural practices. Arsenic contamination can be the result of human actions - fertilizer residues and industrial contamination, but it can also come from natural sedimentary sources (see Bangladesh's groundwater).

Fact to consider - the EPA arsenic limit for drinking water is 10 ppb.
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Re: Care for arsenic with your juice drink?

Postby Detritus » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:30 am

Or the arsenic could leach from the packaging of the juice, or be introduced as a byproduct of the processing of the juice in certain equipment.
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Re: Care for arsenic with your juice drink?

Postby Madsci » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:20 am

It could be the arsenic is in the water used in processing the apple juice.
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Re: Care for arsenic with your juice drink?

Postby Beaver » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:48 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:The organic brands listed in the study still show As levels on par with the non-organic brands. For example, the Whole Foods-branded organic juice tested at 6-7 ppb while the various cheapo labels from Walmart tested between 2-6 ppb. There likely isn't any way to easily escape this trace element.

I hadn't noticed the results table. Good point.
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Re: Care for arsenic with your juice drink?

Postby gargantua » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:08 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:The organic brands listed in the study still show As levels on par with the non-organic brands. For example, the Whole Foods-branded organic juice tested at 6-7 ppb while the various cheapo labels from Walmart tested between 2-6 ppb. There likely isn't any way to easily escape this trace element.

I'd be interested to know what the As content of apple juice grown on virgin dirt would be - there may be some background As that is unavoidable regardless of agricultural practices. Arsenic contamination can be the result of human actions - fertilizer residues and industrial contamination, but it can also come from natural sedimentary sources (see Bangladesh's groundwater).

Fact to consider - the EPA arsenic limit for drinking water is 10 ppb.

Thanks for the perspective. Grapefruit juice is my "poison". My first reaction was to wonder what the arsenic level of that was. My second was to wonder if this was media hype and what the actual science was. Unfortunately, many of us never get past that first reaction.
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Re: Care for arsenic with your juice drink?

Postby ArturoBandini » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:22 pm

To be clear, Arsenic is bad stuff. There probably is no "safe level", in that any level has the potential to do damage to your health. But knowing what typical levels are helps to calibrate your rage-o-meter when isolated studies come out that focus on a particular sector without much context. The apple juice industry is likely scrambling to recover from this bad press, even though they probably follow many of the same practices as any other juice/beverage industry.
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Re: Care for arsenic with your juice drink?

Postby snoqueen » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:22 pm

Interesting to note a lot of apple juice comes from China, which has a perfectly awful record for purity of food products.

Do any of you guys buy food that says it's from China? I sure don't.
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Re: Care for arsenic with your juice drink?

Postby Detritus » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:34 pm

snoqueen wrote:Interesting to note a lot of apple juice comes from China, which has a perfectly awful record for purity of food products.

Do any of you guys buy food that says it's from China? I sure don't.

The supply chain for a lot of stuff is so complicated and/or ephemeral that it can be nearly impossible to really know if something was made in China. The horrific case a few years ago where children's cough syrup in Central America was "sweetened" with propylene glycol from China, leading to multiple deaths, is a good example. It took quite some time to trace the propylene glycol back to a supplier in China, because the number of intermediate buyers was enormous. And that, as I remember, was not a case of malicious substitution, but simply a mistake, unlike the melamine in the dairy products that poisoned thousands of Chinese children more recently.

This is one argument for buying as locally as possible: the shorter the supply chain, the fewer the opportunities for error or mischief. Local does not automatically mean safe, but it does make it easier to verify the safety of the products than ephemeral, global sourcing does.
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