The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today confirmed the safety of apple juice in the U.S. while also proposing limits on how much arsenic should be allowed in the beverage.
The FDA has proposed a limit of 10 parts per billion for inorganic arsenic in apple juice - the same level the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set for arsenic in drinking water. This "action level" would be used when considering an enforcement action against apple juice that exceeds it. The agency stated the proposal was made to provide guidance to the apple juice industry.
“While the levels of arsenic in apple juice are very low, the FDA is proposing an action level to help prevent public exposure to the occasional lots of apple juice with arsenic levels above those permitted in drinking water,” said Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the FDA.
Though arsenic is commonly absorbed by plants, some forms of the element are known to be carcinogenic. The FDA stated that it has been testing apple juice for arsenic for 20 years and, with a few exceptions, has always found that samples of the juice are low in arsenic. Last year, 100% of the apple juice sample tested by the FDA were below the 10 parts per billion level for inorganic arsenic.