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Was Dr. Oz Right? Consumer Reports Urges FDA To Limit Arsenic In Fruit Juice

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Dr. Mehmet Oz (Mike Coppola/ Getty Images Entertainment)

Dr. Mehmet Oz (Mike Coppola/ Getty Images Entertainment)

CBS New York (con't)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Was Dr. Oz right?

The television personality drew a lot of heat in September when he claimed on his show that trace amounts of arsenic in apple juice may pose a health risk.

“After testing dozens of samples from three different cities in America, Dr. Oz discovered that some of the nation’s best known brands of apple juice contain arsenic,”  the Dr. Oz Show said on its website.  To see Dr. Oz’s full report on arsenic in apple juice, click here.

Dr. Richard Besser, former acting head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, scolded Oz for scaring consumers with what Besser called an “extremely irresponsible” report.

The FDA said the lab methods were not appropriate and that its own tests show much lower arsenic levels.

“Arsenic is present in the environment as a naturally occurring substance or as a result of contamination from human activity,” the FDA said on its website. “It is found in water, air, food, and soil in organic and inorganic forms.”

The agency warned the show’s producers in advance that their testing was misleading.

“The Food and Drug Administration has every confidence in the safety of apple juice,” the FDA saud, adding “…there is no evidence of any public health risk from drinking these juices.”

Now Dr. Oz has gotten a boost from Consumer Reports. The magazine studied arsenic and lead content in various juices and found that 10 percent of the samples had arsenic levels that exceeded federal standards.

The magazine tested 28 juices purchased around New York City. Most of the arsenic the magazine detected was inorganic, which the magazine says is a carcinogen linked to bladder, lung and skin cancer.

The magazine says the results are especially troubling because children drink so many juice drinks, and their small size makes them more susceptible.

The magazine’s advocacy arm is calling on the FDA to set lead and arsenic standards for juice, and said it’s “best advice” for parents is to limit the amount of juice kids drink.

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