Consumer Reports Arsenic in Juice Testing: Was Dr. Oz Right?

Back in September, the web was buzzing over an episode of Dr. Oz’s show during which he tested popular juices on the market and decreed many contained unsafe levels of arsenic.

At the time, the FDA struck back immediately, dismissing the reports, and a juice trade association issued a statement saying in part that the results broadcast on the Dr. Oz show should “not be interpreted as fact.” The story died down for a bit, and consumers kept swilling away at their apple juice, unconcerned that the innocuous baby bottle favorite may contain scary poisons. But the issue has popped up again following a report in consumer advocacy magazine Consumer Reports that seems to support what Dr. Oz initially claimed to some degree.

The report, released today, indicates that “roughly 10% of apple and grape juice samples tested by Consumer Reports contained total levels of arsenic that exceeded federal standards set for drinking water.” In and of itself, that doesn’t sound very comforting, but there’s more. According to MedPageToday, the arsenic found in the popular juices is not the natural form the FDA said can often be found in drinking water, and rather stems from “the inorganic form- a known carcinogen introduced into the environment through pesticides and wood treatments that have been banned, and coal-fired power plants.” Originally, the FDA had stated:

“…you can’t compare water and juice for several critical reasons. They include the fact that inorganic arsenic is the form found in drinking water, whereas organic arsenic is the form mostly found in food, including juices.”

As such, Consumer Reports says that the FDA’s remarks were “irresponsible and misleading” when it comes to the arsenic and lead content in apple juice. Following the report, Consumer Reports’ Consumer Union- an advocacy group- has called on the government to re-examine recommended safe levels of lead and arsenic in apple and grape juice.