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Local Fruit Juices Can be Harmful, Consumer Report Warns

Local Fruit Juices Can be Harmful, Consumer Report Warns

Saturday, 2 February, 2019 - 07:00
Bottled juice are arranged at a fruit stall in a traditional market in Taipei. Photo: Reuters
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
A new US study by the Consumer Reports showed that the locally made fruit juice bottles contain high levels of heavy metals that expose people to significant risks.

The Consumer Reports' study analyzed 45 popular fruit juices sold locally including apple, pear, and fruit mix. The results showed that they contain harmful high rates of arsenic, cadmium and lead.

James Dickerson, Consumer Reports chief science officer, said: "In some cases, consuming four ounces (110 ml), or a half cup of fruit juice daily can be worrying.”

The study warned from the potential effect of juices caused by the toxicity of these heavy metals on children's health, since 80% of US parents who have children under 3 years old give them fruit juices. About 74% of these children consume fruit juices on a daily basis.

The study looked at a number of juice stores and US juice brands; they found that 47% of the 45 juices contained "concerning" rates of cadmium, inorganic arsenic and - or lead. It also showed that half a cup of four of the tested juices had harmful effects, with grape and mixed fruit juices contain the highest level of heavy metals. The levels of these harmful metals appeared to be the same in juices prepared with organic fruits.

The company asked the producers of these juices, as well as the Food and Drug Administration for clarifications, and requested the administration to review its guidelines to determine the lead level and reduce it. It is noteworthy that the administration has not yet determined the level of inorganic arsenic as well as cadmium that should be present in such products.

The study said that the presence of some heavy metals is fairly natural, as lead and arsenic are found in soil, air and water. However, companies have the capacity to reduce these rates in their products. The study comes at a time where the juice production and marketing sector valued at $19.8 billion is expected to shrink by 7% within two years due to warnings from sugars in drinks and juices.

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