Arsenic in Apple Juice? – Dr. Oz vs. the FDA

Apple juice with two apples

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Yesterday, as I drove with my children in the backseat having their afternoon snack on our way to pick Daddy up from work, I got a call from my mother.  I told her that I couldn’t really talk because I was driving.  She said, in response, that I make sure to call her back because Dr. Oz sounded an alarm about apple juice.

“What about apple juice. My kids are drinking apple juice right now!”

“What brand is it?”

I told her the brand and she said that one was safe as it’s made in the United States, but that Dr. Oz had samples of different apple juice that were concentrated in other countries, and the arsenic levels weren’t well controlled.

Arsenic in apple juice! Is nothing safe?!

Thankfully, mine was supposedly safe.  But then I get online this morning and see tweets and news footage about a debate between Dr. Oz and the all powerful FDA.

A lot of people interested in health and wellness absolutely love Dr. Oz.   I really like him myself, although I sometimes disagree with some of the things he’s come up with.  But that can and should be true of any expert.  You can’t blindly follow any person or entity ever.

The same is true of the FDA.  Just because they are the FDA doesn’t mean they’re always right.

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I absolutely would have no idea what type of test would need to be done in order to determine the safe level of arsenic in anything we consume.  The fact that there’s any arsenic gives me the willies, but I used to say the same about formaldehyde in vaccines, and that’s been proven to be safe.  So really, what do I know?  I’m just a stay-at-home mom trying to give my kids healthier foods and drinks, and I’d prefer to not poison them.  I don’t know how to properly test for arsenic in apple juice, and honestly, I’d start to look like a paranoid person (more so than usual) if I tried to do this in my kitchen.

I mean, let’s get real, right?

In the story, the FDA claims Dr. Oz did the wrong test for arsenic without differentiating between organic and inorganic arsenic.  Again, what do I know?  There’s a difference?  Really?  Geeze. I’m not a scientist. Just give it to me straight, people.  The FDA says the test was flawed, so we begin to think, “Ah, okay. Honest mistake, Dr. Oz.  It happens.”

But then Dr. Oz claims that he did the exact same test that the FDA said it uses to test our water.  If the total safe arsenic level in water is a certain amount, why would the total safe amount of arsenic in apple juice be different?  I’m asking logical questions, here.

This is assuming that Dr. Oz wasn’t just honestly mistaken.  This is absolutely possible.  But he could also be telling the truth.  The FDA could very well be full of crap. It wouldn’t be the first time.

But it also wouldn’t be the first time that a doctor sounded the alarm on something claiming it was dangerous when it’s harmless.  Having a TV show doesn’t make you infallible.  But being a government entity doesn’t make you infallible either. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Such claims can be damaging to companies that sell apple juice that’s produced in other countries.  It would suck to go out of business because Dr. Oz claimed your juice poisons children when it doesn’t.  Honestly, I think most parents are going to react like I am.  I think I’m going to stick with American apple juice until they clear this up.

Because honestly, I don’t want to take the risk.  It’s an unnecessary risk for me to take with my kids’ health.  Now, if we were talking about a medication or a vaccine, that would be a different story.  But apple juice isn’t necessary, nor is a particular brand necessary, so I’m just going to stick with my American made apple juice.  I prefer my juice to come from a more local area anyway.  It’s better that way.  But that’s also just personal preference.

Question:  What is your opinion? Who screwed up here: Dr. Oz or the FDA?  Do you think there’s unsafe levels of arsenic in apple juice or did Dr. Oz sound a false alarm?

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  1. Michele says:

    I am also one to lean on the side of caution. Luckily, the boys aren’t big on apple juice anyways. But the fact that there is a “safe” amount in water in the first place, why not the same regulations for other things we are ingesting. You better believe the first thing I did was check where our current juice pouches in the house were made. Unfortunately, many other countries do not have the same standards and regulations on certain things, and I still wonder why we are using those products. I ended up reading the full reports from both the laboratory Dr. Oz used and the FDA. The juices were also tested for lead, and the high arsenic level juices also had high lead levels. I am not okay with that. So we’ll continue to label read and check our products until something else proves that we should do otherwise.

  2. Always Sick Chick says:

    Many doctors are questioning Dr. Oz’s findings, testing methods, and his method of delivering the information as sensationalism in order to scare the hell out of parents all over the country.

    This is a good article that I just read: This individual not only questions the accuracy of Dr. Oz’s findings, but his back and forth seesaw response after the controversy with the FDA began the next day. The author also talks about how unhealthy drinking juice actually is, even when it’s arsenic free.

    I also read on this same page that it wasn’t “Made in the USA” only apple juice that was safe, but only organic apple juice. Interesting. This approach definitely gives me pause about the facts. I will continue updating as I get more information.

  3. Always Sick Chick says:

    Dr. Oz responds with a Q&A on his site about Apple Juice and Arsenic. According to this information, the FDA has a lot of explaining to do.

  4. Ron says:

    How many times throughout their history has the FDA proved that they are in the pockets of the meat and dairy industry. I do not trust them or their labs as far as I can propel them with a rocket launcher!!!!

    Oz is backed by other labs.

  5. Always Sick Chick says:

    Ron, according to the second link I posted in the comments, you are correct, and the FDA is aware of this. The FDA has shown that they are at best incomplete in their assessments of most foods and drugs. How many recalls and lawsuits do we have with prescriptions? There are many. I know that no entity can be perfect, but to completely discount Dr. Oz simply because the FDA says he’s wrong is flawed logic. We must question everyone, especially government entities.

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