Are There Toxic Poisons in Apple Juice?

June 21, 2017

Dr. Oz a very popular health guru and one of TV’s most popular medical experts puts apple juice to the test, literally. The tests for arsenic came back from a New Jersey lab revealing levels of the toxin arsenic in the apple juice.  As usual, the FDA has done their own tests and they say no such thing is in apple juice sold in the U.S. As always the FDA wants to let us know there is no public health risk from drinking apple juice in the U.S.

Toxic Poisons in Apple Juice?

What is Arsenic and is it Dangerous?

Minute qualities of arsenic can found in the air we breathe, in the soil we sow in, and in some of the food we eat today. But there is a difference between organic arsenic and inorganic arsenic.  According to the FDA, organic arsenic passes through the body quickly and is essentially harmless. Inorganic arsenic — the type found in pesticides — can be toxic and may pose a cancer risk if consumed at high levels or over a long period of time.

Unfortunately, the Dr. Oz show did not say if the arsenic tested in the apple juice was organic or inorganic—this is something that will come out eventually, but the FDA says because of this the results tested are misleading. Ok, so right now we are still waiting to find out if there is the substance called arsenic threatening our apple juice supplies. Did Dr. Oz call wolf needlessly or should we prepare ourselves for what lies ahead?

By the way, there have been several tests done on the same batch that Dr. Oz tested by Nestle USA and Juicy Juice, which is Gerber Brand and according to both tests they came back showing smaller doses of arsenic levels than what Dr. Oz reported. But still, arsenic in our apple juice? That’s scary!

Arsenic Used in Pesticides

It is frightening to think that much of our food production is sprayed with pesticides that have inorganic high levels of arsenic in them. Pesticides are toxic to the body in many ways—they effect the nervous system, they cause cancer, disrupt hormone balance, and they are dangerous to child’s developing brain. In fact pregnant women are advised to avoid foods with pesticides.

According to an article in USA today apples have the highest amounts of pesticide contaminates says a report published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a public health advocacy group. Washing the apples with a “produce wash” is unlikely to help remove pesticides because they’re taken up by the entire plant and reside on more than just the skin, the report says.

According to Dr. Oz China is the world’s largest producer of arsenic. The U.S outlawed arsenic but we don’t know what happens in other countries ‘apple orchards’, says Dr. Oz. Those apples can be sprayed with pesticides that contain inorganic arsenic. So this is what Dr. Oz and the FDA are battling out. So whose right?

Organic Apples vs. Inorganic Apples

The FDA touts that organic apple juice is harmless.  Does this mean too that organic arsenic in the organic apple juice is ok to drink? The truth is there just are not enough studies done on organic arsenic to know what kind of an effect it will have on the body, especially in the long run.  What we do know is that organic apple juice means the apples were not sprayed with potentially dangerous pesticides and therefore the eating of organic apples is the safest way to keep ourselves free from what we don’t know about organic arsenic.

Dr. Oz says there are toxic forms of organic arsenic and that organic arsenic can be harmful to the body. It takes much needed research and time to study what organic arsenic really does to the body and the findings are growing each day and the FDA knows this.  “Our understanding of organic arsenic is evolving”, says Dr. Oz.

It is always best to eat the purest form of food with the least amount of toxins from the beginning of a plants growth to the end of its growth when it becomes an edible fruit or vegetable—that would be eating the organic fruit (apple). We also know that we can juice organically grown apples and make our own apple juice—it is much better for you than the organic options at the grocery store.

For those people who just cannot afford to buy organic apples, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Fruits with the lowest amounts of pesticides are pineapples and mangoes according to Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Other produce with low amounts of pesticides through the growing process are avocados, asparagus, and onions had no detectable residue on 90% or more of the samples tested.

Apple Juice high in Sugar and Not Good for You

Even if you can even find organic apple juice on your grocers shelf make sure it has no added sugars or preservatives, both of which are not good for you in the long run. Most juices are from concentrate and do not taste that great. Concentrated fruit juices rot your teeth and cause high blood sugar, especially in people who already have blood sugar issues. As stated previously it is always best to drink pure apple juice made from organic apples you prepare right at home.

Organic Apples High in Fiber and Vitamins

An article published by Daily Mail states that scientist have finally proven that organic apples are better for you. Most of us know this already but we want to hear it again! Scientists have said analysis of organic tomatoes, apples and peaches revealed greater concentrations of vitamin C, polyphenols, betacarotene and flavonoids. Furthermore, these higher level of nutrients found in organic apples and other produce give out antioxidant doses, which help protect against heart attacks and cancer causing chemicals.

More good news: The same team of scientists found organic apple puree contained more phenols, flavonoids and vitamin C than conventional versions. This is wonderful news for mothers with small children since apple puree or sauce is a popular food choice for babies and small children.

It is a well known fact eating an organic apple a day helps keep us regular and, since it is organic it is best to keep the skin on and eat the whole thing. Regularity is the key to optimal health.

Is There Really Arsenic in the Apple Juice and How did it Get There?

Yes, according to Dr. Oz there are high levels of arsenic in our apple juice. How did it get there? “American apple juice is made from concentrate, where 60 percent is imported from China,” says Oz. “Other countries may use pesticides that contain arsenic, a heavy metal known to cause cancer.”

Do you think Dr. Oz is fear-mongering like they say, or is this a legitimate complaint that could potentially be harmful to millions of people?

Richard Besser, the health and medical editor for ABC news basically let Dr. Oz know that he cried wolf when there is no wolf. He said that Dr. Oz “yelling fire” in a crowded stadium with 90,000 people present is extremely irresponsible of him.  Irresponsible or not, if by chance there is arsenic in your apple juice, wouldn’t you want to know?

Tim Sullivan a spokesman for Oz’s health show said in an interview: “We don’t think the show is irresponsible. We think the public has a right to know what’s in their foods.”

This is what Oz’s health show is all about, letting people know what’s going on with the food production in the U.S. They simply want to let people know  the position of the show is to make a point that the arsenic levels in the food supply need to be lower!  We don’t think that is asking too much.

Dr. Oz did say to the associated press in a recent interview, “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,” he said.

The bottom line is it does not sound like fear-mongering to us. But this is an important subject that should be out in the open so we as individuals and families can decide for ourselves if we will continue drinking apple juice bought from the store or if we will jump on the band wagon with millions of other health conscience people and buy organic and juice organic. It’s really that simple.



Josh Axe

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  1. Christine Lockert on

    Why have not one of these people admitted that apple seeds have arsenic in them! Talk about irresponsible reporting!! When apples are crushed the seeds are in the mix.

    Fear mongering comes from all types of people!

  2. Phyllis Cherry on

    Dr. Oz is a Muslim. Oh, I’m sorry! Does that make you UNcomfortable! Arsenic naturally occurs in dirt and dirt is natural!

  3. HeidiAnne on

    I think it’s important to explain to people the difference between “organic” and “inorganic” arsenic. I think the general public (non-chemists!) doesn’t know that those words describe a compound that either contains carbon, or not, and don’t have anything to do with the governments definition of organic and how it pertains to food. In the little bit of research i just did, it looks like inorganic arsenic is a group of compounds used as preservatives, which includes chromated
    copper arsenate (CCA), commonly used as a preservative in wood products to prevent rotting
    from insects and microbial agents. CCA had previously been used in residential settings for decks, playsets, and playgrounds; but such uses have been voluntarily withdrawn by the industry, as it is classified as a known human carcinogen.
    Organic (carbon-containing) forms of arsenic (e.g., monosodium methanearsonate and disodium methanearsonate) are used in pesticides for agricultural applications.
    I am not saying that organic arsenic is ok to ingest… i won’t let my kids eat conventional apples from THIS country… just that we need to have all the facts.It is unfortunate that “organic” is so widely misunderstood, and as a chemical engineer AND organic farmer… I feel the need to help clear that up.

  4. Pat Whitaker on

    As an Extension Agent for UT-TSU Extension it is our job to attempt to provide research based information to the public. Our food & nutrtiton specialist, Dr. Janie Burney recently provided this information in answer to the issue raised by Dr. Oz.

    “A recent episode on the Dr. Oz Show has started a national controversy related to arsenic in apple juice. Unfortunately, misinformation has caused some parents to worry about the safety of apple juice.

    There are different types of arsenic. The organic forms are essentially harmless while the inorganic forms can be harmful. Both are found in soil and ground water, and small amounts are found in fruit juices and juice concentrates. When the FDA wants to determine if a food has unsafe levels of arsenic, they test the food specifically for the harmful, inorganic forms of arsenic. It is common to test for total arsenic as a quick and easy way of seeing how much arsenic is in the sample. However, a total arsenic test does not tell us how much inorganic arsenic is in the sample. In fact, organic arsenic can make up the bulk of total arsenic in some foods. If you want to know if there are harmful amounts of arsenic in the sample, you must test specifically for inorganic arsenic.

    The FDA has reviewed the test results performed by EMSL Analytical, Inc., on behalf of the Dr. Oz Show, and can confirm that the results that were revealed are for total arsenic. The results do not distinguish between the essentially harmless organic forms of arsenic and the harmful inorganic forms of arsenic. Therefore, these results cannot be used to determine whether there is an unsafe amount of arsenic in the juice tested by the Dr. Oz Show.

    This is a perfect example of why we should not assume television shows, such as Dr. Oz, provide accurate information.” Reliable information is posted on the web site at

    • Nancy on

      Since most of our government top officials have close ties to the corporate agriculture, it is hard for the ordinary citizen to blindly trust the government when it comes to food safety. I think Dr. Oz and others like him are doing a great public service by questioning the safety of our food system. The more information we have as consumers the better equipped we’ll be to make informed choices. What will happen with the ongoing battle to label GMO foods? With FDA and USDA in bed with large corporate interests it is a challenge to maintain our right to know the details about the food we consume.


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