The Liberty School District chose to pull juice off the menu after a Dr. Oz investigation into the levels of arsenic in apple juice.
"A lot of people asked this morning, because it is a favorite, and they were asking why there wasn't any apple juice," said Food Supervisor Chris Hogge, with the Liberty School District.
His answer came from a new Dr. Oz study released this week.
"They found traces of arsenic in all apple juice concentrate, from China, Chile, Brazil and Argentina and a few other countries. A very popular drink is apple juice in the morning for breakfast. So I checked our labels and also found that these were made from Chile and China concentrate."
Hogge immediately pulled the juice from the menu. It's not certain whether the apple juices here contain high amounts of arsenic, but the school didn't want to take any chances while the new findings continue to be debated nationwide.
On Monday, Sept. 12, Dr. Oz released findings on an investigation they conducted using an independent lab. They tested "best-known" brands of apple juice. Click here to read the Dr. Oz findings.
They stated that apple juice samples were tested and then results were compared to the standard for water ... 10 of the samples came back higher than that limit. The EPA has officially set a standard for public drinking water for arsenic at 10 parts per billion to protect consumers.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released in a statement to consumers, however, that apple juice is safe to drink.
"Donald Zink, Ph.D, senior science advisor at FDA TMs Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), explains that arsenic is present in the environment as a naturally occurring substance or as a result of contamination from human activity. It is found in water, air, food, and soil in organic and inorganic forms."Story continues below ...
Quincy Public School District #172 issued the following statement Thursday:Quincy Public Schools has been following the recent publicity over the amount of arsenic in apple juice that many children drink. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there is no evidence of any public health risk from drinking these juices. The FDA has stated that it has been aware of the potential for elevated levels of arsenic in fruit juices for many years and has been testing fruit juices for arsenic and other elemental contaminants as part of FDA TMs toxic elements in foods program. The safety of the meals we provide to students each day is a top priority. More information regarding the safety of apple juice is available on the FDA website at www.fda.gov. At this time, Quincy Public Schools has no plans to eliminate apple juice as part of its meals program; however we will continue to closely monitor the situation and take appropriate action as necessary. - Jean Kinder, QPS Food Service Director
The FDA searches for potential contaminates in several ways:
- FDA issues import alerts to keep potentially dangerous products from other countries out of the U.S. marketplace. The agency has issued a specific alert that requires importers to prove their fruit juices and concentrates are safe for consumption before they are allowed to enter the U.S.
- As part of the FDA Total Diet Study program, the agency annually tests baby foods and apple juice samples for the presence of arsenic.
- The agency collects and tests food and beverage samples in another program that looks for harmful substances in foods. Apple juice is one of the targeted products because investigators want to check for total and, if necessary, inorganic arsenic.
(Information taken directly from the Food and Drug Administration's website .)
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