U.S. FDA to limit inorganic arsenic in apple juice

U.S. FDA to limit inorganic arsenic in apple juice
# 12 July 2013 23:58 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed on Friday an "action level" of 10 parts per billion (ppb) for inorganic arsenic in apple juice, the same amount allowed in drinking water, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Arsenic has two forms, namely inorganic and organic, and health experts worry about the inorganic kind because long-term exposure can be harmful.

"While the levels of arsenic in apple juice are very low, the FDA is proposing an action level to help prevent public exposure to the occasional lots of apple juice with arsenic levels above those permitted in drinking water," said Michael Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, in a statement.

The FDA said it has been monitoring the presence of arsenic in apple juice for the past 20 years and has found that the majority of samples contain low levels of arsenic, with "few exceptions."

Last year the FDA released findings from its latest data collection and analysis of 94 samples of arsenic in apple juice. The analysis showed that 5 percent of the apple juice samples tested were above 10 ppb total arsenic but all were below 10 ppb for inorganic arsenic.

The proposed level of 10 ppb takes into account this sampling data plus a recently completed, peer-reviewed FDA risk assessment of inorganic arsenic in apple juice based on lifetime exposure, the FDA said.

The agency said it will accept public comments on the proposed action level and the risk assessment for 60 days.

Inorganic arsenic may be found in foods because it is present in the environment, both as a naturally occurring mineral and because of activity such as past use of arsenic-containing pesticides.

A known carcinogen, inorganic arsenic also has been associated with skin lesions, developmental effects, cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity, and diabetes.