December 1, 2011

 

Walmart, Motts, Gerber, the Arsenic Apple Juices

December 1, 2011. New York. It all started with the September 15, 2011 Dr. Oz show. The good doctor aired an episode in which he warned parents about the arsenic levels in apple juice. Since apple juice is one of the most popular and healthy drinks for children, he got the attention of parents. Warning that some juice brands had levels of arsenic higher than that approved for bottled water, Dr. Oz suddenly found himself on the receiving end of a massive multi-corporation attack campaign. Today, America found out Dr. Oz was right. Here are the brands with the highest levels of the cancer causing substance.

Welch's apple juice (from concentrate) had the lowest levels of arsenic of any brand tested by Consumer Reports.

We at Whiteout Press tip our hat to Consumer Reports. The trusted consumer protection group viewed the Dr. Oz episode and the resulting media campaign against him and then carried out dozens of independent tests of their own. What they found were a half dozen national apple juice varieties, including Walmart, Motts and Gerber, that had higher than acceptable levels of arsenic.

In reality, the Food and Drug Administration has no guidelines for arsenic levels in juices. Instead, parents and experts are forced to use the FDA guidelines for bottled water, which mandates that no more than 10.0 parts per billion (PPB) of arsenic be allowed. Consumer Reports also tested for lead in apple juice. The FDA limits bottled water to 5.0 PPB of lead contamination.

Good Morning America and ABC News

Not surprisingly, ABC shows including Good Morning America and ABC News with Diane Sawyer were some of the most critical and accusatory of all the corporate media outlets to condemn Dr. Oz back in September. GMA even invited Oz onto the show where he was ambushed by a high-paid medical expert that criticized his reputation and all but accused him of being an unprofessional fear-monger. Today, Diane Sawyer and the very same medical expert invited Dr. Oz back to her show where they gave the doctor a formal apology. The ABC medical expert deflected responsibility for their misinformation and attack campaign and instead laid the blame at the doorstep of the FDA and their faulty data. Showing his humility, Dr. Oz smiled, shook the man’s hand and said, “Thank you. I appreciate it.”



FDA Cover-up?

Until now, the Food and Drug Administration had the results of its own arsenic testing of apple juice on its website. The results were from testing done between 2005 and 2011. In the beginning of November, the FDA was made aware that Consumer Reports was about to publish the results of their own independent tests. Within a couple weeks, the FDA mysteriously added eight test results that were previously omitted from the data they made public. Coincidentally, those test results showed frighteningly high levels of arsenic in certain apple juice brands, levels 3 and 4 times higher than the levels found in even the highest Consumer Reports tests.

When Consumer Reports asked the FDA about the mysteriously appearing failing results, an FDA spokesman explained that since the levels were so high, the agency decided to retest those samples to insure their accuracy. The only problem, the tests were from 2008 and 2009. According to the FDA, it only takes weeks to test an apple juice sample, but it takes 3 to 4 years to retest one.

Like Consumer Reports, the FDA also makes the results of their tests of arsenic levels in apple juice public. However, the FDA refuses to disclose what brands they are and which contain higher than acceptable levels of the cancer causing substance. The FDA instead reports their results using a protective “Sample Number” instead of an easily identifiable brand and variety.

Another coincidence that jumps out at readers is that even though arsenic exists both organically and inorganically, apple juices made in the US had noticeably lower levels of arsenic than apple juices from outside the country. Another noticeable trend is that the highest levels of arsenic were in brands made in China. Apple juice imported from China had arsenic levels 3 to 4 times higher than that of their American made apple juice competitors. Juices from South America, specifically Argentina, seemed to have arsenic levels halfway between the low levels in the US and the high levels in China.



Protecting Walmart?

Whiteout Press believes that most, if not all, parents and consumers would like to know which brands are the 5 that Consumer Reports found to contain higher than acceptable levels of arsenic. Throughout all of the FDA’s website, and most of the corporate news reports yesterday, almost none warned consumers that 3 of the 5 failing samples were from Walmart. Could it be because they’re the largest corporation in the world with a balance sheet larger than most countries? Or could it be because Walmart happens to be one of the biggest spending advertisers at the corporate-owned news networks?

The Official Results

From Consumer Reports – arsenic levels in apple juice brands (the government limits arsenic levels to 10 PPB in bottled water, no guidelines exist for juice)

Brands with the highest level of arsenic:

  • Great Value from Walmart (bottle), China/Argentina – 13.9, 11.5 and 10.1 PPB
  • Apple & Eve (juice box), Argentina/China/USA – 10.5 PPB
  • Mott’s Original (juice box), China/USA – 10.2 PPB
  • Gerber (bottle), made in Argentina – 9.69 PPB
  • Gold Emblem from CVS (bottle), made in China – 9.38 PPB
  • Mott’s Original (bottle), Argentina/China/USA – 7.87 PPB
  • Gold Emblem from CVS (bottle), USA/Argentina – 7.47 PPB

Brands with the lowest level of arsenic:

  • Welch’s (concentrate), Argentina/Chile/China – 1.09 PPB
  • Rite Aid Pantry (bottle), made in China – 1.14 PPB
  • Juicy Juice (juice box), made in China – 1.28 PPB
  • Red Jacket Orchards (bottle), made in USA – 1.32 PPB
  • America’s Choice from A & P (bottle), made in China – 1.37 PPB
  • Tropicana (bottle), internationally made – 1.48 PPB
  • Old Orchard (concentrate), internationally made – 1.57 PPB
  • Juicy Juice (bottle), made in Brazil – 1.68 PPB

In a positive sign, the FDA recently announced it may draft guidelines governing the levels of arsenic in juices that are unacceptable. Currently, there are no FDA limits or guidelines concerning lead or arsenic contamination in juices. Consumer Reports closes by quoting the Consumers Union. They argue that the FDA should lower its acceptable level of arsenic well below the current 10 PPB threshold. They insist that the FDA only studied the effects of arsenic on certain types of cancer and do not include incidents of skin, lung or bladder cancer in their guidelines.

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