Fruit juice has been falling out of favour for its high sugarcontent and low nutritional value. Now parents have another reason to pull the plug: heavy metals.
According to a study released on Wednesday by Consumer Reports, measurable levels of cadmium, inorganic arsenic, mercury or lead were found in every single one of the 45 juice products it tested from major brands sold across the US. Almost half of the juices had metal levels so high they were deemed concerning, with seven of the products posting heavy metal concentrations high enough to harm children who drink as little as 4 ounces — about half a cup — a day. “The risks we assessed were all due to chronic exposure — persistent, daily intake over an extended period of time,” James Dickerson, Consumer Reports chief scientific officer, said in an interview. “Whether you’re an adult or a child, it’s a good idea to try to reduce the amount of non-refrigerated, ready to drink juice.”
To be fair, it would be impossible to remove all heavy metals from food and drinks, since some can occur naturally, Dickerson said. Toxins can find their way into foods through water, air and soil, or they can be added unintentionally at manufacturing plants or in product packaging. In some of the juices tested, the level of a single metal wasn’t concerning, but combined, they could have an adverse effect on children’s developing brain and nervous systems, the report said.Organic juice, or juice marketed for children, isn’t necessarily safer: Neither group performed any better than other juices, Consumer Reports found. In general, grape juice and juice blends had the highest average heavy metal levels, the report said. Certain juices from Minute Maid, RW Knudsen, Gerber, Welch’s, Mott’s and Juicy Juice were listed as potentially risky at either a cup or half cup a day. Some in-house juice brands from Trader Joe’s, Walmart Inc., CVS Health Corp. and Whole Foods Market Inc. were also found to be potentially harmful.“All Welch’s juice is safe and strictly complies with all food safety regulations for juice — in the United States and in other countries around the world,” Jackie Lee, senior manager of brand engagement for Welch’s, said in an email. Gerber, owned by Nestle SA, said it uses some of the most precise analytical equipment and test methods available to carry out regular tests. The other companies did not respond to requests for comment......Read more
Source web page: Times of india