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Dr. Oz criticized for juice warning

Published: Fri, September 16, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

The federal Food and Drug Administration and a leading doctor are disputing suggestions by television-show host Dr. Mehet Oz that trace amounts of arsenic in many apple-juice products pose a health concern.

Oz said on his show Wednesday that testing by a New Jersey lab has found what he implied are troubling levels of arsenic in many juices.

However, the FDA says the lab methods were not appropriate and that its own tests show much lower arsenic levels. The agency warned “The Dr. Oz. Show” producers in advance that their testing was misleading.

Dr. Richard Besser, a pediatrician and former acting head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also scolded Oz on Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” show for scaring consumers with what Besser called an “extremely irresponsible” report.

The issue: Arsenic is naturally present in water, air, food and soil in organic and inorganic forms, the FDA says.

“Organic arsenic is essentially harmless,” the agency says, and it passes through the body quickly. Inorganic arsenic is the type found in pesticides, and consuming it at high levels or over a long period can cause concern.

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