Cultural Encounters: A Journal For The Theology Of Culture Volume 11 Number 2 (Summer 2016) - Page 52

CHILDREN, PESTICIDES, AND FOOD - Kolmes We think the lead limit should be five parts per billion, the current standard for bottled water or even lower. And for arsenic, three parts per billion. That’s obtainable. Forty-one percent of the samples we tested met both of those levels. The Juice Products Association told Consumer Reports, “We are committed to providing nutritious and safer juices, and we will comply with limits established by the Food and Drug Administration.” For now, Consumer Reports says the best advice for parents is to do what Zoe does and limit how much juice your children drink. SK: There are a couple of messages in this video. Why is there arsenic in juice? Historically, DDT was bad for human health. There was no question of that. But the principle pesticide in use before DDT was lead arsenate. So why is there a lot of lead and arsenic in apple juice? Because apple orchards have been there long enough that they are pre-DDT and lead arsenate was getting sprayed in the apple orchards to control the pests. There is a lot of lead in the soil, and a lot of arsenic in the soil. Apple juice can come up full of a lot of both of those things. In this country, there are no standards set by the government for concentrations of either of those materials in juice. Man 2: When the juice lobby or the representatives say that they abide by federal standards, are they lying because there are none? SK: Yes, that’s true. Man 3: What could be done about the soil? Is there anything to get the lead out of the soil? SK: No. Heavy metals are extremely difficult to deal with. If you discover you have a heavy metal contamination, you should not be growing anything for human consumption. Woman 1: What about organic farms? What if they were on land that was previously . . . ? Would we know? SK: We would not. What we know about organic farming is that it is transitioned from conventional farming over a period of some years. During this period, pesticides cannot be used but production is not organic. What we know is only that, from the beginning of transitional production until now, no pesticides were used. We don’t know what was used sixty years ago. And it is a serious problem because even organic food can have pesticides in it. It’s just that none is contemporarily being applied. Consumer Reports’ advice is 49