Consumer advocacy organizations have written to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to report the results of tests conducted on apple juice, showing arsenic levels above federal tolerance levels for drinking water.  

The organizations, Food & Water Watch and the Empire State Consumer Project, urge FDA to “establish tolerance levels for arsenic in food” and “to focus its import surveillance resources on imported juice concentrate as a product of concern and increase its testing of those imported products.” One apple juice sample apparently contained 55 parts per billion (ppb) of arsenic; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water tolerance level for arsenic is 10 ppb. According to the groups’ letter to FDA, the agency has admitted that it has “established a ‘level of concern’ when arsenic levels exceed 23 parts per billion, but has no actionable levels for regulatory purposes.” See Food & Water Watch News Release, July 21, 2011.