NEW YORK (KKTV) - A new warning over what exactly is in your child's fruit juice -- and the sugar is the least of your worries.
New testing from Consumer Reports has found concerning levels of heavy metals -- arsenic, lead, cadmium -- in nearly half of the juices it tested.
This includes juices marketed specifically for children.
According to their report, Consumer Reports tested three samples from 45 juices, with the samples purchased from different retailers across the country.
Twenty-four national, store and private-label brands were represented: 365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods), Apple & Eve, Big Win (Rite Aid), Capri Sun, Clover Valley (Dollar General), Great Value (Walmart), Gerber, Good2Grow, Gold Emblem (CVS), Goya, Honest Kids, Juicy Juice, Looza, Market Pantry (Target), Minute Maid, Mott’s, Nature’s Own, Ocean Spray, Old Orchard, R.W. Knudsen, Simply Balanced (Target), Trader Joe’s, Tree Top, and Welch’s.
Based on their findings, Consumer Reports says 21 products contained enough of a single heavy metal or combination to reach a level that their experts believe is concerning. Of that 21, some are relatively safe if less than a cup (8 ounces) is consumed a day. Seven juices showed a potential risk if a half-cup or more is consumed daily, and five juice boxes showed a risk if more than one a day is consumed.
Consumer Reports cautions that the results are not meant to be used to draw definitive conclusions about brands. The testing involved specific juices from each brand.
Full results including juices tested can be found here by scrolling down towards the bottom of the page.
What can parents do?
It's still OK to give your child juice, but set limits. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children ages 1-3 consume no more than 4 ounces of juice daily; for 4 to 6-year-olds, 6 ounces; 7 years old and up, 8 ounces.
Water and milk are always better alternatives than juice -- and that goes for teens and adults too.