The U.S. Food and Drug Administration—after nearly two years of investigation—has decided to tighten restrictions on apple juice.
A debate erupted in 2011, when Dr. Memet Oz, host of TV's Dr. Oz Show, charged that total arsenic levels in apple juice were too high. Several months later, Consumer Reports published an investigation that found elevated levels of inorganic arsenic in apple juice on the nation's store shelves.
On Friday, the FDA proposed a limit of 10 parts per billion for inorganic arsenic in apple juice, about the same level the Environmental Protection Agency allows for arsenic in drinking water.
Friday's rule was the first time that the FDA has set a limit for arsenic levels in food.
Following a comment period from the food industry and public, the rules are expected to be formalized. If apple juice were to exceed the new target levels for arsenic, the product might be subject to action by the FDA, including pulling the juice from shelves.
Approximately 60 percent of all apple juice in the United States is imported from China, which is notorious for having lax environmental controls.