The federal Food and Drug Administration and a leading doctor are disputing suggestions by television show host Dr. Mehmet Oz that trace amounts of arsenic in many apple juice products pose a health concern.
Oz said on his show Wednesday that testing by a New Jersey lab has found what he implied are troubling levels of arsenic in many juices.
However, the FDA says the lab methods were not appropriate and that its own tests show much lower arsenic levels. The agency warned The Dr. Oz. Show producers in advance that their testing was misleading.
Dr. Richard Besser, a pediatrician and former acting head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also scolded Oz Thursday on ABC's Good Morning America show for scaring consumers with what Besser called an "extremely irresponsible" report, like "yelling 'Fire!' in a movie theater."
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The issue: arsenic is naturally present in water, air, food and soil in organic and inorganic forms, according to the FDA.
"Organic arsenic is essentially harmless," and it passes through the body quickly, the agency says. Inorganic arsenic is the type found in pesticides, and consuming it at high levels or over a long period can cause concern.
The Dr. Oz Show tested for total arsenic, and the FDA even disputes those levels. The agency's own tests found lower total arsenic from one of the same juice batches that the show's lab tested.