In the wake of a recent Consumer Reports investigation that found high levels of arsenic and lead in a number of fruit juices, Congressman Frank Pallone of New Jersey and Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro today announced the “Arsenic Prevention and Protection from Lead Exposure in Juice (APPLE Juice) Act of 2012,” which would require the Food and Drug Administration to set standards for arsenic and lead in fruit juices.
While bottled water has standards for these toxins, no such limits exist for juice. The bill would give the FDA two years to establish these new standards.
“The unacceptable levels of arsenic and lead in juices currently sitting on shelves at the supermarket present a danger for our children and their health,” said Pallone. “Setting basic standards for arsenic and lead in products whose consumers are primarily children is not only the right thing to do, it will help give parents the peace of mind that the juices their children drink daily are safe.”
Consumer Reports tested 88 samples of apple and grape juices and found that approximately 10% of the sampled juices contained arsenic levels that exceeded federal drinking-water standards.
Even more alarming was that most of the arsenic found in the testing was inorganic, which is a known carcinogen.
The CR tests also found that about 25% of the samples contained lead levels higher than the federal standards for bottled water.
“This bill will go a long way in protecting the public, especially children, from being exposed to these toxins. We’re grateful for this effort to ensure the public’s health and safety are protected,” said Ami Gadhia, Senior Policy Counsel for Consumers Union.