Fruit juice hasn't been considered as healthy of an option lately, mainly because it is loaded with sugar and calories. But now, there is another health risk in juices. They could also contain potentially harmful levels of arsenic, cadmium, and lead, according to Consumer Reports.
CR tested 45 popular fruit juices sold across the country, including apple, grape, pear, and fruit blends. It found elevated levels of those elements, commonly known as heavy metals, in almost half of them, including juices marketed for kids.
Consumer Reports' test focused on cadmium, lead, mercury, and inorganic arsenic because they pose the greatest risks. The site says they are common in food and drink.
The CR survey found Americans drink a lot of juice. According to the report, more than 80 percent of parents of children age 3 and younger give their children fruit juice at least sometimes. James Dickerson, Ph. D., who is CR's chief scientific officer, said even 4 ounces a day can be enough to raise concern. In a national Consumer Reports survey of 3,002 parents, 74 percent of their kids drank juice once a day or more.
Heavy metals can be harmful to adults, too. Dr. Dickerson said 5 of the juices tested posed a risk to adults at 4 or more ounces per day.
Twenty-four national, store, and private-label brands were represented: 365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods), Apple & Eve, Big Win (Rite Aid), Capri Sun, Clover Valley (Dollar General), Great Value (Walmart), Gerber, Good2Grow, Gold Emblem (CVS), Goya, Honest Kids, Juicy Juice, Looza, Market Pantry (Target), Minute Maid, Mott’s, Nature’s Own, Ocean Spray, Old Orchard, R.W. Knudsen, Simply Balanced (Target), Trader Joe’s, Tree Top, and Welch’s.
If you'd like to read all of Consumer Report's findings, you can find them here.
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