Tuesday, September 20, 2011

U.S. Senator Calls For Clear Juice Concentrate Standards

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today called on the Food and Drug Administrationto put in place clear standards for imported fruit and vegetable juice concentrates and step up inspection of concentrates from countries that use toxic, inorganic arsenic in their pesticides, or with high levels of environmental contaminants. 

Schumer pointed out that, although serious questions exist over the methodology used by a daytime talk show last week that covered the subject of arsenic in apple juice, there currently are no FDA standards for toxic, inorganic arsenic in juice concentrates. 

Many juice concentrates are now imported from China, a country infamous for lax standards and the rampant use of toxic additives and chemicals, including inorganic arsenic, in their food supply. 

Schumer noted that while clear standards for the level of inorganic arsenic allowed in bottled water have been established by the FDA, and the Environmental Protection Agency restricts the use of toxic, inorganic arsenic in pesticides used in the United States, the FDA has no standards for inorganic arsenic in juice and vegetable concentrates. 

Given China’s history and the FDA’s previous work detaining pear juice from China with elevated levels of inorganic arsenic, Schumer noted the FDA needs to implement clearer standards for fruit and vegetable juice. 

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