Good Fruit Grower

November 2013

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Arsenic and FRUIT JUICE FDA is setting standards for levels of arsenic in apple juice. by Richard Lehnert Patricia Faison T he fruit juice industry is keeping quiet these days, not relishing a public debate over how much arsenic should be allowed in juices, particularly apple and grape juice. Arsenic is a scary word. In 2011, Consumer Reports and the Dr. Oz television show raised concerns when they reported that testing found levels above 10 parts per billion of arsenic in some samples of apple juice. Not having a frame of reference to know what 10 ppb means, some parents panicked. They did not know their children would need to drink hundreds of thousands of quarts of apple juice in one sitting to get a lethal dose of arsenic. The publicity generated political pressure, which turned into demands that the Food and Drug Administration "do something." FDA is now in a process and is closing a comment period in November. The Juice Products Association, based in Washington, D.C., speaking forpage158 members, has tried to soothe Trident Ag 2-15-13_1/4 its dummy 1/25/13 10:16 AM Page 1 the public, and it has appealed to the Food and Drug Administration to use science-based information to set a good standard. There are some problems. The standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency for arsenic in drinking water is 10 parts per billion, and that standard is now being considered by the Food and Drug Administration as the allowable limit for inorganic arsenic in apple juice. That level could be a problem for the juice business. Not only are juices mostly water, but both apples and grapes are often grown on soil with a history of use of arsenic products for control of insects and diseases. Arsenic also occurs naturally in soil and water. If fruit is grown using ordinary water and soil that contain arsenic, whether naturally occurring or from old pesticides, it is highly likely that fruit juices would contain arsenic as well. Tom Hurson, the vice president for ingredient and foodservice sales at Tree Top Inc. in Selah, Washington, Avoid the Orchard of No Return was asked during the U.S. Apple Association's Crop and Outlook Conference in Chicago in August why apple juice may have been the target. It's a perplexing problem, he said, but likely because apple juice has high emotional value, being a beloved family staple made from the icon fruit for good health. While FDA studies in 2011 showed that 95 percent of the apple juice samples contain less than 10 ppb of total arsenic and all samples contained inorganic arsenic levels below 10 ppb, the key question is whether the industry can live with a standard that suggests apple juice is on the margin of safety. Patricia Faison, technical director for the Juice Products Association, spoke about the issue at the Chicago apple meeting, and also responded to questions asked by Good Fruit Grower more recently. GFG: Is arsenic in juice a "real" issue or just driven by fear of the word arsenic? Orchard Master Tools and Equipment Replant disease can take the profit out of any orchard. Soil fumigation services offered by Trident manage replant disease and other soil-borne pathogens. Trident offers custom applications of Telone® C17, Telone C35, and Pic-Clor 60. Speed•Quality•Price-Get all three Save on labor costs • Row and broadcast applications available • Specializing in tree fruit, hops, grape, berry, and nursery crops Telone® II, Telone C-17, and Telone C-35 are registered trademarks of Dow AgroSciences LLC. Telone II, Telone C-17, Telone C-35, and Pic-Clor 60 are restricted-use pesticides. Soil Fumigation Specialists Serving the Northwest for 29 years NORTHWEST, WA: EASTERN WASHINGTON: EASTERN WASHINGTON: THE DALLES & HOOD RIVER, OR: 34 NOVEMBER 2013 Good Fruit Grower Tim Purcell..........Mobile 360-630-4285 Robert Rauert ....Mobile 509-728-2004 Jason Rainer .......Mobile 509-731-5424 David Sbur ..........Mobile 971-563-8848 The New Extension Pole Increases Reach To Enhance Efficiency We sell pruners that are quality-built and perfect for orchard or vineyard pruning tasks. The pruners are powerful and light with a comfortable rubber grip. These pruners are durable and can be used all day on a single charge. A comfortable lightweight vest holds the lithium battery and provides a continuous power source. Invest in these quality-built lithium powered electric pruners. Save time and money while reducing the risk of serious repetitive use injuries and associated labor and industry liabilities. 855-5-PRUNER Use in the orchard or vineyard to save time and energy. Powered by a lithium battery pack that you wear around your waist.

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