Fruit juices contain concerning levels of heavy metals, Consumer Reports found

01 Février, 2019, 05:40 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Illustration Chris Philpot

The juices, which ranged from apple, grape, and pear to fruit blends, are found in major retailers nationwide and include a wide range of store and commercial brands. Lastly, CR found five juice boxes that pose a risk to children if they drink more than one box per day.

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.

While every product tested had measurable levels of cadmium, inorganic arsenic, lead, or mercury, grape juice and juice blends had the highest average heavy metal levels.

The consumer education and watchdog publication released an article on the study Wednesday, saying 47 percent of the 45 tested juices "had concerning levels of cadmium, inorganic arsenic, and/or lead".

Organic juices didn't show lower levels of heavy metals than conventional products.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration guideline for lead in juice is 50 parts per billion. Consumer Reports recommended less than 1 ppb.

CR suggests parents limit the amount of ready-to-drink fruit juices their children drink and encourage drinking more water.

In response to the new report, an FDA spokesperson said in an email, "We welcome the data provided by Consumer Reports and will review it in its entirety as part of our larger, comprehensive effort to reduce toxic element exposure".

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Consumer Reports is recommending parents lower the amount of juice they give their kids.

The brands tested were 365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods), Apple & Eve, Big Win (Rite Aid), Capri Sun, Clover Valley (Dollar General), Great Value (Walmart), Gerber, Good2Grow, Gold Emblem (CVS), Goya, Honest Kids, Juicy Juice, Looza, Market Pantry (Target), Minute Maid, Mott's, Nature's Own, Ocean Spray, Old Orchard, R.W. Knudsen, Simply Balanced (Target), Trader Joe's, Tree Top, and Welch's. "Ongoing third-party testing shows that heavy metals in our products are far below federal limits".

Exposure may be less harmful for adults but health problems can still occur, including various types of cancer, cognitive issues, reproductive problems, and others.

The chemists who conducted the tests said the implications are serious.

Overall, the new test results point to a reduction in heavy metals, compared with results from tests performed several years ago. A Welch's spokesperson said, "All Welch's juice is safe and strictly complies with all applicable legal requirements".

Heavy metals naturally occur in the air, in water and in soil and can end up in food during the manufacturing and packaging process.

It is not the first time Consumer Reports has investigated metals in fruit juice. Bole says she agrees with the CR report's call for the FDA to update its standards.

Persistent exposure to these heavy elements, particularly early in a child's development, can have longstanding effects throughout their life; respiratory systems, their neurological systems; their immune systems are all developing, so having those exposures at those ages can have very profound effects.

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