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FDA Proposes Threshold for Arsenic in Apple Juice

FRIDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- With a goal of preventing public exposure to inorganic arsenic through apple juice, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed an "action level" of 10 parts per billion (ppb), a threshold to serve as a guideline for industry.

For the past 20 years, the FDA has found levels of arsenic in apple juice to be consistently low. Data from the agency's most recent analysis of 94 apple juice samples showed inorganic arsenic levels all below 10 ppb, the same threshold established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as safe for drinking water.

Inorganic arsenic, a naturally occurring mineral and a component of pesticides used in the past, may find its way into food and drink through environmental exposure. It has been associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurotoxicity and other maladies, and is a known carcinogen.

"The FDA is committed to ensuring the safety of the American food supply and to doing what is necessary to protect public health," Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner of the FDA, said in a statement. "We have been studying this issue comprehensively, and based on the agency's data and analytical work, the FDA is confident in the overall safety of apple juice for children and adults."

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