Report finds heavy metals present in popular juice brands

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) — There’s a report that could make you think twice about packing juice in your child’s lunchbox, and it turns out the amount of sugar in juice is probably the least of parents' worries.

New testing from Consumer Reports has found high levels of heavy metals, like arsenic, lead and cadmium in nearly half of the juices it tested. Too much exposure to toxic metals can cause behavioral problems, cancer and Type 2 Diabetes.

Consumer Reports tested 45 popular fruit juices, including Gerber, Great Value and Juicy Juice. The juices are sold at retailers like Walmart, Target, Dollar General and CVS.

The report found 21 of those products contained enough of a single heavy metal or a combination to reach levels experts say are concerning. It also finds that in most cases, grape juice contains the highest amounts of heavy metals.

The testing focused on 24 national, store, and private-label brands of apple, grape, pear, and fruit juice blends.

The Consumer Reports Survey found that of 3,000 parents, 80% gave juice to children age three and younger, and 74% of their children drank it more than once a day.

Exposure to these metals early on can affect their whole life trajectory,” said Jennifer Lowry, M.D., chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Environmental Health, as well as director of clinical pharmacology, toxicology, and therapeutic innovations at Children’s Mercy Kansas City. “There is so much development happening in their first years of life.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children ages one to three drink no more than four ounces of juice a day. For four to six year olds, they recommend six ounces of juice and for children seven and older, eight ounces of juice.

The Academy also says drinks like water and milk are better alternatives than juice, which goes for teens and adults as well.