New report finds heavy metals like arsenic and lead in 45 packaged fruit juices
Some popular fruit juices may contain heavy metals, according to a new report out Wednesday morning. Consumer Reports tested 45 packaged fruit juices for heavy metals, like lead, arsenic, and cadmium and found measurable levels in every product. Long-term exposure to these metals could cause some serious health risks, like kidney disease and certain types of cancer.
Heavy metals are substances that make their way into food because they occur naturally in the air, water and soil. They can also wind up in food during the manufacturing and packaging processes, reports CBS News' Anna Werner.
While improvements have been made since Consumer Reports last tested juice products eight years ago, they now recommend parents give their children less juice.
Consumer Reports' chief scientific officer James Dickerson and his team tested 45 different juices for four heavy metal substances: inorganic arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury. They found that every single product contained a measurable amount of at least one heavy metal, except for mercury.
Twenty-one of the samples contained one or a combination of heavy metals that reached a level Consumer Reports researchers deemed concerning for daily consumption. They said the metals found in seven of the 21 samples had the potential to harm children who drink only a half cup per day.
According to the CDC, long-term exposure to heavy metals may put people at risk for kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, damaged ability to learn and certain types of cancer.
Consumer Reports is recommending parents lower the amount of juice they give their kids.
"So they should be concerned but don't panic … frequent exposure to these heavy metals through the juice is the concern," James Dickerson said.
The Juice Products Association, whose board of directors includes executives from PepsiCo, Welch's and other juice brands whose products were tested, said they haven't seen the full study but called the results "unfounded" and told CBS News they are committed to providing "safe" and "nutritious" products that meet FDA standards.
They also said that there is "no scientific evidence" indicating that trace levels of heavy metals have caused any negative health outcomes.
But Dr. Leo Trasande, director of environmental pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine, said, "The science is telling us increasingly that there are particular time points in life when even a small amount of exposure for example can disrupt hormones and thereby contribute to disease."
He recommends parents swap the juices for something else.
"My suggestion is they simply eat an apple, preferably organic, and drink water as a substitute for these juices," Trasande said.
In 2013, the FDA proposed limiting inorganic arsenic in apple juice but no change was ever made. In a response to CBS News, the FDA said they "know there is more work to be done to reduce these elements in our food supply" and that they plan to review Consumer Reports' data.
Consumer Reports said their findings are a "spot check" and "should not be used to draw definitive conclusions about specific brands."
CBS News reached out to all of the juice companies. Ten responded saying their products are safe and follow all food safety guidelines.
i know, it's everywhere, it's just so funny how the media talks about mitigating it (although it's sad too). It's not something you can control, only if you would know everything you could try to control things, but i think control in this world and these days might be a craved fantasy, but kudos to those trying (that includes the author).
I think that even some fruits themselves can be harmful. Apples or tomatoes have a skin that absorbs all sort of things from the outside, so these especially are full of poisons if not organic. But even organic fruits can contain lots of dubious substances.
Used to live mostly on fruits for some extended time when living/travelling in the tropics, and after the "honeymoon period" when one feels great, I became hyper, restless, ungrounded and unfocused, but, it's true had plenty a lot energy, but could not use it in the right way.
But nowadays as a omnivore, fruits are a great way for me to get energy. They need to be very ripe, unripe fruit do more harm than good. I live in Germany, and in winter I like to eat dried, (and sun ripened) fruits from the tropics (mangoes, pineapple etc) or from colder climates.
I live near Germany! I agree with eating ripe fruits!
I live in apple region, and grape: if you see what I see, you won't even touch an apple or wine or grape made here... And it's still small tiny farms compared to huge farms in the US or South America.
A couple of years ago, an engineer working for the agro-business gave a lecture on his previous work: he built and checked for fruit storage facilities: basically, he did the technical maintenance of apple storage places around the Lake of Konstanz region (where I live).
He said that the storage facility of apples are all the same: huge buildings that are tight boxes, with poisonous gas to preserve apples, so that they last years.
Before he comes workers open small windows on top, and the gas escape.
They're pretty strict about waiting time, before he can step inside for technical inspection, or he'll get poisoned himself.
He said that after working with that, he got disgusted, and changed job and carrier.
I test fruits and veggies energetically, and never found an apple or pear that tests good, unless organic. Same for potatoes: they feel radioactive, almost.
I test my fruits sometimes in a basic way: smell. Not always reliable, but can often give a good picture. Some non organic apple smell really awful, not like an apple at all, more like chemicals or sometimes weird and unhealthy. And so great smell the organic/natural apple fallen from a tree. By the way, a joke the fruitarians say: the apple in paradise was not good , because it was picked :) should be on the ground, then you know it's ripe. Just a joke, but maybe a metafor.
We have forgot to use our sense of smell, and when I was a vegetarian/vegan, it used to be not that good!
Going fruitarian really opened up this sense in a dramatic way, that was actually really unpleasant, because of some smells around people, sewers etc.
I've also noticed some omnivores have a great sense of smell (not all of course).
There are studies saying that a lack of zinc and too much copper is impairing the sense of smell (too much copper: typical vegan diet. Too much Zinc: meat diet). Fruitarianism has less copper that veganism, plus the fact that I did not use salt and spices also helped. People working in the perfume industry do not easy so much spicy and salt I've heard. My sense of smell is not that good as it used to be, but still is better than as a vegan.
And what most people forget is that packaged fruit juiced is completely pasteurised. Also, the package itself is not that good for you, unless the bottle is made of glass. Ph pf fruit juices is acidic and will leach even more the chemicals/plastics from the package/bottle.