Dr. Mehmet Oz claims apple juice contains 'troubling' levels of arsenic; FDA responds

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dr-mehmet-oz-getty.jpgOn "The Dr. Oz Show" Wednesday (Sept. 14), Dr. Mehmet Oz did a segment with a New Jersey lab that found what Oz claims are "troubling" levels of arsenic in many brands of apple juice.

The FDA has responded with its own tests that it says show no such thing. Their statement reads, "There is no evidence of any public health risk from drinking these juices. And FDA has been testing them for years."

Thursday (Sept. 15), Dr. Oz's med school classmate Dr. Richard Besser, a previous acting head of the CDC, was on "Good Morning America" saying Oz's report was the equivalent of yelling "fire" in a movie theater. Video below.

What the FDA maintains Dr. Oz failed to do was distinguish between the two forms of arsenic - organic and inorganic. Organic arsenic is naturally found in water, food and soil and passes through the body without incident. Inorganic arsenic is the type found in pesticides and that is the type that can be toxic.

The FDA also says they found between 1/6 to 1/18 fewer parts per billion of arsenic in the samples of juice they tested versus Dr. Oz's results.

The "Dr. Oz Show" website published a letter from Nestle, which also tested the same batch of juice, that told the show in advance that the show's lab results would be unreliable because they were using a method that was intended for testing waste water, not fruit juice.

The FDA also sent a letter in advance to the show threatening to post its findings if the show proceeded with its dangerous apple juice segment.

Tim Sullivan, a spokesman for Oz's show, tells the AP, "We don't think the show is irresponsible. We think the public has a right to know what's in their foods." He went on to say that Dr. Oz does not agree that organic arsenic is as safe as the FDA believes, but said the show will do further tests to distinguish organic from inorganic arsenic in juice.

Dr. Oz tells the AP, "There's no question in my mind folks can continue drinking apple juice. ... There have been no cases at all of kids being harmed by elevated levels of arsenic, and the kinds of numbers we are talking about are not high enough to cause acute injury." What he is actually concerned about is the side effects of drinking apple juice for a prolonged period of time.

What do you think, Pop2it readers? Is one bad apple ruining our juice habits? Or is it a danger everyone should be aware of?

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Photo/Video credit: Getty Images