Thursday, September 15, 2011

Apple Juice Isn't Safe?


Now that school is back in, I feel like I am running and driving all over the place. With yesterday being my son's minimum day, I found myself back at home earlier than usual.  And for the first time in quite a while, I turned on the TV just to see what was on.  I turned on the Dr. Oz show mid-way through a segment on, of all things, apple juice. 

The segment was quite disturbing.  In independent testing the show did, they found arsenic in several different brands of apple juice, including Gerber, Motts, and Juicy Juice.  ARSENIC?  What!  I thought we were supposed to be worrying about too much sugar, not ARSENIC.


As part of the segment, Dr. Oz encouraged apple juice consumers (a.k.a. Me) to look at their apple juice container/bottle to see where it is made.  The Hansen's Natural Apple Juice in my fridge is bottled in Corona, CA.  Okay, that seems fine.  But on the clear part of the bottle, it says "CONC MADE IN USA AND/OR CHINA."  ("CONC" stands for concentrate.)  You have got to be kidding me!  When they stamp that on the bottle they don't know if the apple concentrate is from the U.S. or China?  When I see something like that, it tells me that it is more likely from China, but they want to make themselves sound good by throwing in the USA part, or that a small portion of their concentrate is made in the USA so that they don't have to say "Made in China."

And so while I know arsenic is bad, because I didn't catch the first part of the segment, I didn't know all of the background information on the situation.  So, I went to the Dr. Oz Show website and found out that arsenic is a heavy metal known to cause cancer, and that pesticides used in other countries such as China contain arsenic. 

When Dr. Oz and his producers approached the juice companies, the Juice Products Association, and the FDA, no one wanted to talk about the situation.  They all contended that their juices meet the FDA safety standards, even though the FDA doesn't even test for arsenic. I mean, why would they?  Who would put arsenic in apple juice anyway?  Apparently, we, as a society, need to stop being naive and stop assuming the government can protect us from everything.

Having said all this, Dr. Oz did not recommend that our kids stop drinking apple juice all together.  (I suppose a tiny amount of arsenic can't hurt them. :<) But he did recommend that we start looking where the apple juice concentrate is from.  Also, he did recommend organic apple juices, because their independent studies showed that organic apple juices came back with lower levels of arsenic than the safe drinking water limit as determined by the EPA.  Click here to see all of Dr. Oz's independent study results.

Ultimately, we do have the power to make a change in all of this, and that is by simply choosing apple juice (and all juices for that matter) that is made in the USA.  If we stop buying the apple juice with concentrate from China, then companies will be forced to stop producing it because it won't be profitable. 

Perhaps our country needs to start the "Made in the USA" campaign again from back in the '80's...not only for our economy, but our physical health, too!













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