Mason and I always watch the Today Show while we’re getting ready, and this morning a segment with Dr. Mehmet Oz caught my attention. Matt Lauer was interviewing the father of four about his claim that some brands of apple juice contain high levels of arsenic and are unsafe to consume. Dr. Oz delivered the news to his audience during his show yesterday, citing a study he commissioned on 50 different brands of apple juice. In his interview with Lauer, Dr. Oz defended his report, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration called it inaccurate and said that all types of apple juice sold in stores are safe. According to the Today Show‘s report:
Arsenic is a naturally occurring and inorganic heavy metal, and some levels of it are found in the air we breathe,
water we drink and in the ground. It is known to cause cancer and kidney problems. But while high levels of
inorganic arsenic can be fatal, the organic form is essentially harmless, says Stephanie Yao, an FDA spokeswoman.
The Dr. Oz Show only tested for the total amount, while the FDA tests for levels of both organic and inorganic, says
Yao. In fact, the FDA reviewed Oz’s test results and informed the show with a letter dated Sept. 9 that they couldn’t
be used to determine whether the juice is unsafe since it only measured the total arsenic. The FDA also told Today
that the agency tested the same apple juice lots as Oz did, and found arsenic levels well within safe limits, almost
“To try and interpret that data to mean that apple juice is unsafe, is misleading. It’s irresponsible, and I think they’re
needlessly scaring parents,” FDA scientist Don Zink, Ph.D, told Today.”
Mason hasn’t had juice yet but he will at some point in his life. I’m thinking of buying a juicer and making all of his fruit juice at home, but he’s bound to have store-bought juice at a friend’s house or his grandma’s house. Who do you believe: Dr. Oz or the FDA? Will you continue to give your babe store-bought apple juice?