According to a newly released study, Nov. 30, 2011 the highly regarded Consumer Report group did a investigative, scientific study on apple juice for containing arsenic a poisonous substance to humans. A link to the Consumer Report is below this article.
The controversy that had two doctors fighting on the air on ABC News Good Morning America, and the ABC Nightly News shows had the public alarmed by the lack of understanding between Dr. Richard Besser mostly when he attacked Dr. M. Oz for the results of his independent studies that proved there were high levels of arsenic in apple juice sold in America.
The feud began in September when Dr. Oz announced on his Dr. Oz Show that his findings reported higher than safe, higher than normal and higher than any consumer would believe of arsenic which was contained in apple juice.
In America, many mothers buy apple juice to get away from soda drinks with other harmful ingredients such as aspartame and rely on fruit juices to be wholesome, untainted and are in shock that arsenic would even be contained in a drink from apples, let alone it would go untested by the federal US agency, the Food and Drug Administration or the FDA.
We covered the story in our article here, and as much as Dr. Richard Besser had a hissy fit over Dr. Oz’s daring statements we kind of believed Dr. Oz was telling the truth. Consumer Reports repeated the tests and included 88 samples of store bought apple juice confirming Dr. Oz’s findings using scientific measures while the FDA sat back and denied the reports indicating the apple juice was safe to drink.
We also believed Dr. Besser was covering for his former job as a Director at the CDC and as a Director of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. (ATSDR). Dr. Richard Besser adamantly denied that Dr. Oz’s findings were accurate and made severe accusations of:
“this was extremely irresponsible”
“manufacturing a health crisis based faulty incomplete science”
It reminded him of “yelling fire in a movie theater”.
“I’m very annoyed about this” said Besser in September, 2011 on the air on a national television news show about health. Dr. Besser also claimed the type of arsenic was harmless and again was proved wrong in his assumptions. Besser was on the attack rather than protecting the public and requiring the FDA to do further studies he took their word for it over Dr. Oz’s findings. Besser said “no good scientist would ever do that kind of work”.
Dr Oz replied to Dr. Besser’s statements in September:
“”I am not fear mongering we did our homework , we spent a lot of time making sure we got our figures right.
” your assumption of inorganic arsenic is safe is not true. The American people have the right to know”.
Fast forward to November 30, 2011 today, another wake up call confirms that Dr. Oz was indeed right about the levels of arsenic.
Consumer Reports found the Dr. Oz study was right, and they also found lead in apple juice.
The Consumer Report groups tested 88 samples of apple juice and also grape juice that had the same findings, lead and arsenic in store bought fruit juice.
The Juice Industry Reply to the Reports of Arsenic Lead in their Products:
Dr. Gail Charnley of the Juice Products Association says that trace levels are not a problem they are safe. The Juice industry says that it is the FDA’s job to regulate juice not theirs. A sorry sad state of an industry that knowingly (since they do not test their own product) sold apple juice, most likely imported from China with lead and arsenic in it, passed the buck to the government, namely the FDA.
Who is Lying to the Public?
Several factors enter into this story and viewers must understand the system of food regulations in the United States.
1) The capitalist system of corporate business is that, they do not wish to be regulated by government. However, can they be trusted to govern themselves since in this case they did not test their own products for contaminants.
2) The national media networks have a tendency of “protecting” their sponsors, their advertisers because it means millions of dollars in revenues to their business. The tendency is for television media to present a distortion of the facts for their own profits.
3) Former employees of the FDA, NIH and CDC also have a tendency to protect their former contacts in government and maintain support for those agencies.
4) National food corporations now import more food from China and foreign countries without testing from the FDA, and the FDA fails miserably to protect the public.
5) The FDA has no regulations, no standards on levels of arsenic which is a shock to most parents, and yet with a 3 billion dollar budget have only issued daily recalls of tainted food products with no deterrents. Not one CEO of a factory food farm has ever been prosecuted or sentenced to jail, not any financial penalties were charged to these corporations.
While the FDA required more authority in the new Food Bill passed by Congress five months ago, they still have failed to shut down companies that produce poisonous foods. ie) Salmonella from Wright County Egg, tainted food from the large factory farms that go on poisoning the public without criminal charges.
6) The FDA is concentrating on banning holistic products, organic small business farms, The Amish farms, vitamins and supplements all of which are safe, natural foods and allow factory farms to continue to produce, sell and market poisonous foods. Their aim is to protect corporate interests, not safety for American families.
The Results of this Story:
At least ABC had the decency to admit they were wrong in their assumptions and any parent watching this program wouldn’t want to buy products with high levels of arsenic.
“It is a big deal” as Robyn Roberts says when she had Besser explain himself again after the Consumer Report was released.
Dr. Besser said “The FDA made a number of statements that re-assured me. I am much less re- assured now.” That’s putting it mildly but instead of focusing on himself, he should be focusing on what this did to the public’s trust who continued to drink apple juice, assured by the FDA that it was all safe? What about the public?
Besser claims the FDA said this:
1) They said there was an industry standard on safe levels of arsenic in the apple juice.
As Besser confirms it “Turns out there’s not.”
No industry standards on contamination or foreign ingredients in apple juice, besides water and apple juice? No standards, the FDA has no standards? What on earth are they doing at the FDA?
Besser goes on to bury the FDA:
2) The FDA said that the type of arsenic in apple juice is the “safe” kind.
Besser said “turns out that the type of arsenic is not the safe kind”.
3) Besser said the FDA published their results on line so everyone could look at it. But they withheld 8 results that were very high”.
He also acknowledges that Dr. Oz was right, this is the harmful kind of arsenic not the “organic” type he claimed before in the September ABC show.
Then he went on to proudly claim his own Besser Tips for Parents
1) Limit your child’s drinking of apple juice to no more than 4 to 6 ounces per day.
Besser says children under 7 should have no more than 4 to 6 ounces of apple juice a day. This also applies to grape juice the store bought kind in your everyday all American grocery store.
How about Dr. Besser advising parents to stop feeding their kids arsenic entirely, which he did not do.
We are to assume that a little bit of arsenic is okay although he also said arsenic is in the air, water and soil at acceptable levels?
If the FDA has no standards for arsenic in food or drinks then what constitutes safety at all?
It appears the present system is “laissez-faire” and let the manufacturers do as they please, adding any type of toxin to foods and getting away with it due to no regulations from the FDA.
Quoted today the truth is the FDA has no regulations on arsenic or any other contaminant in apple juice. A shocking lack of standards here for a wealthy country like the US to have food that resembles that of Nigeria’s quality, tainted, poisoned and disgustingly harmful.
It is also disturbing that the public cannot rely on national television so called “experts” to tell the truth and dismiss studies unless they are done by the FDA. In this case, the FDA hid the results from the public. This is basically how the FDA operates these days, hiding data from the public on a national juice containing high levels of arsenic and then lying about it?
This is not the first time the FDA has fallen down on the job and we have cited many examples of their failures time and time again.
It is time for the Obama administration to clean out the dead wood at the FDA, the former drug executives, the top level administration that is directing this misbegotten excuse for a Food and Drug safety agency.
It is beyond the time for some heads to start rolling out the doors at the FDA, and hire outside independents who are not beholding to corporate interests. The system of drug and food lobbyists have won new authority in a new Food Bill that restricts organic farmers more than it corrects the real problems at the factory food level.
What parents should do:
1) Drink Organic only juice certified by the label.
2) Eat organic apples instead of juice and get the extra fiber.
3) Do not buy juice from grocery chains that have added color, additives and extra sugar they are all harmful to children.
4) Make organic apple sauce from scratch for babies instead of apple baby foods
5) Don’t trust your FDA and their levels of safety, since they are skewed to favor food manufacturers and there are no regulations on apple juice amounts of contaminants.
6) Buy your produce and apple juice from local farmers who do not use mass production operations. Local farms have farmers markets in just about any city imaginable.
7) Eat local foods locally produced and stop supporting imported arsenic juice from foreign countries that are not even tested by your government.