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Blumenthal Welcomes FDA’s Proposed New Limits on Arsenic in Juice as Important Safety Step, Encourages Agency to Finalize Formal Rule

Senator Urged OMB To Review Proposed New Limits In May After Reports Indicated The Agency Was Long-Delayed In Doing So

(Hartford, CT) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued a statement on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed new limits on arsenic in apple and grape juices. The limits, which come two months after Blumenthal urged the Office of Management and Budget to finish its review of these proposed guidelines after news reports indicated the agency was long-delayed in doing so, would cap levels of arsenic in juice to 10 parts per billion (ppb) –  the same federal standard for drinking water.

“This guidance is a welcome step in the right direction to help ensure parents don’t have to worry when giving their child a cup of juice. Although this step will give FDA the tools it needs to stop harmful products from reaching our shelves, I strongly believe that the agency should issue a formal rule that will impose more severe penalties on companies that violate the standard,” Blumenthal said. “Inorganic arsenic in apple juice is unacceptable and unsafe, and the federal government has a responsibility to make sure that the safety of children isn’t jeopardized. I will continue to monitor this process in an effort to ensure that these proposed limits eventually become legally binding.”

In January of 2012, Consumer Reports® exposed concerns about arsenic and lead in apple and grape juices. The company found that roughly 10 percent of the juice samples they tested had total arsenic levels that exceeded the federal drinking-water standard of 10 ppb, and that roughly 25 percent had total arsenic levels that exceeded the federal bottled-water standard of 5 ppb. As a result, FDA committed to conducting tests and offering new guidelines to reduce the risks posed by arsenic in juice.

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