Heavy Metals Found in Kids’ Fruit Juices

Consumer Reports recently discovered “concerning levels” of heavy metals in kids’ fruit juices, including arsenic, cadmium, and lead. If consumed over a long period of time, these juices can be extremely dangerous to both adults and children. A study tested 45 juices nationwide, which included grape, apple, pear, and fruit blends. Heavy metals were found in more than half of them.

Metals found naturally occurring in foods or drinks is completely normal, but elevated levels of them can pose a serious health risk. Unfortunately, some of the most popular brands of kids’ fruit juices were also some of the most impacted. James Dickerson, Ph.D., explains that “drinking just 4 ounces a day—or half a cup—is enough to raise concern.”

Chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council Jennifer Lowry, M.D., tells Consumer Reports that at least 74 percent of children have a helping of fruit juice daily, meaning that these high levels of heavy metals may have some detrimental long-term effects during their developmental years.

Dickerson, Ph.D., additionally explains that “heavy metals are things that can cause a variety of ailments in children and adults—everything from neurological issues to cancer. We certainly want to ensure that the industry continues to do a better job to reduce the presence of these in the products that we buy.”

The brands affected by the alarming levels of heavy metals include the following:

Whole Food’s 365 Everyday Value
Juicy Juice
Honest Kids
Minute Maid
Welch’s
Gerber
Walmart’s Great Value
Gold Emblem
Mott’s
Trader Joe’s Organic Juice
R.W. Knudsen Organic Juice
Trader Joe’s Joe’s Kids

The FDA has officially responded to the discovery of these heavy metals found in kids’ juices and provided the following statement:

“We know there is more work to be done to reduce these elements in our food supply, and we place a high priority on reducing exposure among infants and children, as the very young are more susceptible to their potential adverse health effects. We welcome the data provided by Consumer Reports and will review it in its entirety as part of our larger, comprehensive effort to reduce toxic element exposure.

“The findings of Consumer Reports underscore the progress that has been made in reducing the amounts of these elements in fruit juices over the past several years. We are encouraged by this progress and believe that FDA oversight and industry responsiveness will continue to drive innovation leading to reductions in exposure.”

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This story originally appeared at Do You Remember by Jane Kenney.

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