Senator Schumer Calls on the FDA to Put Standards in Place for Juice Companies

The Dr. Oz Show has called on the FDA to set a standard for total arsenic in apple juice to 10 parts per billion – the same as what the EPA has set for arsenic in drinking water. Today, Sen. Charles Schumer, (D) New York, issued a statement and letter he wrote to the FDA, calling on the FDA to place standards on arsenic in juice concentrate.

Posted on | Comments ()

September 18, 2011

The Honorable Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.                        


U.S. Food and Drug Administration

5600 Fishers Lane

Rockville, Maryland 20857

Dear Commissioner Hamburg,

I write to express my concern about the quality and safety of imported Chinese-produced foodstuffs, including fruit and vegetable juices and juice concentrates that may contain high levels of inorganic arsenic.  I respectfully request that the FDA increase inspections, testing and analysis of imported juices and juice concentrates.

As you know, apple juice is a beverage regularly consumed by children. Over 70 percent of the apple juice concentrate used in processing and consumed in the United States is imported from China.  Pear juice – the majority of which also is imported from China – is another popular children’s beverage.  Given continuing horror stories of toxic food additives and chemicals in the Chinese food supply, I am concerned that the juice and juice concentrate China exports to the United States may put children at risk of exposure to cancer-causing contaminants such as arsenic.

I understand there is no present limit for the total permissible concentration of arsenic or inorganic arsenic in food or beverages.  This gap in safe food guidance is disturbing, and I urge the FDA to establish a federal standard for arsenic in food and beverages.

The possibility that arsenic contamination is endangering the health of our children cannot and should not be ignored.  As such, I urge the FDA to act expeditiously with respect to testing of juice imports and setting a federal standard for arsenic.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.  I also ask that you please keep me apprised of developments on this issue.


U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer