There might be a good chance the fruit juice you are serving your kids contains some sort of heavy metal. New testing conducted by Consumer Reports set out to find which fruit juice products contained potentially harmful levels of heavy metals. The findings are a bit alarming for many parents who serve juice to their children daily.
Consumer Reports tested a variety of popular fruit juices including, apple, grape, and fruit blends. After testing 45 different brands, researchers found elevated levels of arsenic, cadmium, and lead in more than half the juices they tested. Many of these juices were marketed specifically for children.
According to a recent poll by Consumer Reports more than 80 percent of parents who have children 3 and under serve their kid's juice occasionally. Some kids are accustomed to drinking juice more than once a day. The report is concerning because young children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of heavy metals.
So what exactly did the Consumer Reports testing find? They looked at 45 juices. Brands included 365 Everyday (that’s Whole Foods generic brand), Apple & Eve, Capri Sun, Great Value from Walmart, Gerber, Honest Kids, Market Pantry from Target, Minute Maid, Nature’s Own, Ocean Spray, Trader Joe’s, Welch’s among a few other top brands.While each of the products tested had measurable levels of at least one of the following heavy metals: cadmium, inorganic arsenic, lead or mercury – 47 percent had what researchers deemed “concerning” levels of one of the three cadmium, inorganic arsenic, or lead.According to Consumer Reports, 7 out of the 21 juices that had concerning levels of heavy metals could potentially harm children who drink 4 ounces or more a day, while 9 of them have a possible risk when children consume 8 ounces or more.Juices That Have Potential Risk at 4 oz or more:1. Trader Joe's Fresh Pressed Apple Juice, 100% Juice2. 365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods) Organic 100% Juice, Concord Grape3. R.W. Knudsen Organic Just Concord Grape JuiceJuices That Have Potential Risk at 8 oz or more:1. Gold Emblem (CVS) 100% Apple Juice2. Great Value (Walmart) 100% Juice, Apple3. Trader Joe's Organic Apple Juice
For the entire list check out the full chart.
Out of the different flavors that were tested, grape juice and juice blends had the highest average of heavy metals. And just because the labeling has organic on it doesn’t necessarily make it better. In this case, organic juices did not fare any better or worse than the other juices tested.Parents and Pediatricians worry about heavy metals because they are known to have adverse effects on a young child’s development. Depending on the duration and how long a child has been exposed heavy metals can affect IQ scores, cause behavioral problems, and other health issues such as type 2 diabetes.The risk from heavy metals comes from chronic exposure which is why it’s important to reduce exposure in both children and adults. Parents, you can always limit your child’s juice consumption. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended limiting juices because of the high sugar content found in the beverages which can contribute to its own set of health problems like tooth decay and obesity.
However, if the juice is on the menu at your house, here are some alternative choices that did well in the Consumer Reports test:365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods) Organic Apple Juice, 100% JuiceApple & Eve 100% Juice, Apple Juice1Big Win (Rite Aid) 100% Juice, Apple Juice