A controversial episode of “The Dr. Oz Show” brought a potentially dangerous health issue to light. The television show revealed its findings of inorganic arsenic, a known carcinogen, in apple and grape juices above 10 parts per billion.
While juices do not have a federal arsenic threshold, drinking water is limited to 10 parts per billion and has been used as a standard in a Consumer Reports study. The study found that nearly 10% of the five brands of fruit juices Consumer Reports sampled had arsenic levels higher than federal drinking water standards.
The FDA argues, however, that arsenic levels in foods and juices are from organic arsenic, which it claims is “essentially harmless.” Inorganic arsenic has been known to cause lung, bladder, and skin cancer as well as increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and immunodeficiencies.