– In response to the investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) into the arsenic content of apple juice, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers guidance to families concerned about the impact of such exposure to their children’s health.
The FDA tested hundreds of samples of apple juice for arsenic and found the overall level of arsenic is low. Because a small proportion of samples had higher levels of arsenic, the FDA is now proposing an “action level” of no more than 10 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic in apple juice – the same level set by the Environmental Protection Agency for drinking water. Action levels represent limits above which FDA may take enforcement action to remove products from the market.
Based on its investigation, the FDA is confident in the overall safety of apple juice for children and adults. The AAP reminds parents that it is not necessary to offer children any juice to have a well-balanced, healthy diet. For years, the AAP has recommended limited intake of all sweet beverages, including juice, to reduce the risk of poor nutrition, obesity and childhood cavities.
If parents want to include juice in their children’s diet, juice should be limited to 4 to 6 ounces a day for children ages 1 to 6 years, and 8 to 12 ounces a day for children age 7 and older. Children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits to meet their recommended daily fruit intake.
The AAP will work with the FDA and other federal agencies to limit the level of arsenic in foods and drinks and will participate in discussions about decreasing arsenic exposure. Parents who have questions about their child’s nutrition are encouraged to speak with their pediatrician.
Information for parents:
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.