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

Apple juice with two apples

Image via Wikipedia

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.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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?

Enhanced by Zemanta