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Local daycare concerned about arsenic in apple juice

"Some of the best known brands in America have arsenic in their apple juice!" is what TV's Doctor Mehmet Oz said this past September.

The research from the show sparked fierce debate, but just these few short months later, it turns out Dr. Oz was right. The Federal Drug and Food Administration says it will look at whether its restrictions are tough enough on how much arsenic is allowed in apple juice.

"Apple juice is one of the foods that is served to children on a regular basis," says Barb Mathias who says that could change after she found out from ABC 6 News about harmful levels of arsenic in apple juice.

"This is definitely something that we would like the FDA to really check out and to improve for children-we would never want a child to be exposed to anything that is harmful," says Mathias.

Doctor Oz says after a series of tests on 36 different apple juice samples, he found ten of them contained harmful types of arsenic.

"People who drink apple or grape juice had 20 percent higher levels of arsenic in their urine than people who didn't," says Consumer Reports' Dr. Urvashi Rangan, who appeared as a guest on Oz's show.

Arsenic is considered a carcinogen - a cancer causing agent. Initially, the FDA downplayed Oz's results saying most organic apple juice was harmless.
But on Wednesday, the group announced it would begin its own tests to find out which apple juice samples contain harmful amounts of arsenic.
"We need to set a standard, we can set a standard, and we should be doing that right away," says Rangan.

Currently, there's no federal arsenic limit for juice or most foods, and that's why until she hears whether the apple juice she serves is safe, Mathias will keep it away from kids.

"Until we get more information about this, this is a food that we would remove from our menus," says Mathias.

The FDA says it may eventually set a limit for arsenic in apple juice, but until their testing is complete, it won't make any decisions.

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