FDA Takes Action to Limit Lead Levels in Juice
The limits do not go far enough to protect kids, advocates say
The Food and Drug Administration today announced a draft plan that would lower the guidance level for lead in fruit juices from 50 parts per billion to 10 ppb for apple juice and 20 ppb for other fruit juices.
The move is part of the Agency’s Closer to Zero action plan, announced last year, which is meant to lower the levels of toxic heavy metals that children are exposed to through baby food and juice. Research, including tests done by Consumer Reports, has shown that fruit juice—especially apple and grape—can contain worrisome levels of heavy metals, such as arsenic and lead. CR and other health and consumer groups have been pushing the FDA to set limits, but advocates say these levels do not go nearly far enough.
“These proposed levels seem weak, especially when you consider a significant majority of the industry is already meeting them,” says Brian Ronholm, director of food policy at Consumer Reports. “These action levels seem to give credit for work already done instead of attempting to protect public health.”