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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Second Letter from the FDA to The Dr. Oz Show Regarding Apple Juice and Arsenic (09/13/2011)

   

Department of Health and Human Services logoDepartment of Health and Human Services

Public Health Service
Food and Drug Administration
  College Park, MD 20740

September 13, 2011


Ms. Barbara Simon
Producer, The Dr. Oz Show

Mr. Terence Noonan
Supervising Producer, The Dr. Oz Show


VIA EMAIL and FAX


Ms. Simon:

Since learning of the results for total arsenic in apple juice samples that your show submitted to EMSL Analytical, Inc., investigators from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) went to Nestle/Gerber to collect samples of apple juice for analysis. Our investigators collected a sample from Nestle Infant Nutrition – Gerber Products, Co. of the same lot number of apple juice (Lot # 1157515791) that EMSL Analytical, Inc., reported to contain 36 ppb total arsenic. Our investigators also collected samples from additional lots of Nestle/Gerber apple juice.

The results of tests performed by the FDA on the Nestle/Gerber apple juice samples are as follows:

FDA Sample Total Arsenic Result (Average)
Sample 659595 Lot #1157515791 2.0 ppb
Sample 659596 Lot #1125515762 4.0 ppb
Sample 659597 Lot #1125515761 6.0 ppb
Sample 710623 Lot #1059515761 5.0 ppb
Sample 710624 Lot #1059515762 5.0 ppb
Sample 710625 Lot #1157515761 2.0 ppb
Sample 710626 Lot #1157515762 3.0 ppb

During its investigation, the FDA learned that Nestle/Gerber had tested samples in their own laboratory, including a sample from Lot #1157515791, and submitted those samples to two different food testing laboratories for arsenic testing. The results of these tests for total arsenic in Lot # 1157515791 are substantially in agreement with the results of the tests performed by the FDA. We understand that Nestle/Gerber has provided these results to you. Based on our investigation and testing, we are concerned that some of the results reported to you by EMSL Analytical, Inc., may be erroneously high. The analysis of foods can pose a challenge to analytical laboratories and seemingly minor variations in sample treatment and analysis can have a significant effect on results.

In short, the results of the tests cited above do not indicate that apple juice contains unsafe amounts of arsenic. The FDA reaffirms its belief, as stated in our September 9, 2011 letter, that it would be irresponsible and misleading for the Dr. Oz Show to suggest that apple juice is unsafe based on tests for total arsenic.

 

Sincerely,

 

/S/
Don L. Zink, Ph.D.
Senior Science Advisor
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition