Lead. Arsenic. In both organic and non-organic brands of juice. That my kid drinks.
In case you haven’t heard, it’s all over the news, again.
I first read about it here, back in June of 2010: Is There Lead in Your Juice?
Just one of many gems from the article, “Foods with violations included apple juice, grape juice, packaged pears and peaches (baby food included), and fruit cocktail.“
The FDA tried to poo poo it, “The Dr. Oz Show has been communicating with the FDA since the original broadcast in September. The FDA sent letters to the show in September saying that the majority of arsenic in apple juice is organic or the “harmless” kind.” but then perhaps realized how pissed American moms would be and, “In a conference call with The Dr. Oz Show in October and in an email sent on November 29th, the FDA says it’s researching the new evidence suggesting the majority of arsenic in apple juice is inorganic. In addition, the FDA told The Dr. Oz Show that there are two forms of organic arsenic in apple juice that are potentially harmful. The Dr. Oz Show has learned that the FDA is re-evaluating the level of concern for juice, currently at 23 parts per billion. The FDA’s level of concern was based on an assessment that did not include the risk of cancer from arsenic. The FDA also disclosed new data from the monitoring program for arsenic in juice. Nine previously undisclosed test results reveal arsenic levels above the current level of concern, 23 parts per billion.”
Dr Oz Report on brand results here.
Fast-forward to November, and a heads up from Stroller Traffic alerted me to new findings from Consumer Reports in a report titled, “Arsenic in your juice. How much is too much? Federal limits don’t exist.”
Here is a PDF of their complete test results for both arsenic and lead.
How does THAT end up in our food supply chain you may ask?
Here’s just a blurb from the very detailed and informative article: “Lead-arsenate insecticides were widely used in cotton fields, orchards, and vineyards until their use was banned in the 1980s. But residues in the soil can still contaminate crops. For decades, arsenic was also used in a preservative for pressure-treated lumber commonly used for decks and playground equipment. In 2003 that use was banned, (as was most residential use) but the wood can contribute to arsenic in groundwater when it’s recycled as mulch.”
So what am I going to do?
It’s not realistic to completely eliminate my son’s exposure to juice (hello, birthday parties.) But I will stop buying it. I will not support those brands with the highest reported levels. When it is served to him, I will try to dilute it with as much water as possible. I will make our own juice at home using organic fruit and a blender or juicer. I will use social media to spread awareness. I will try to keep in mind that the levels found were parts per BILLION, not hundred or thousand. And I will pray that our broken food system will one day become better, for our children’s sake.
What can you do?