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The Hill - Dems Push Regulators on Arsenic in Fruit Juice

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By Elise Viebeck

Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) are calling for a speedy release of federal guidelines to reduce the amount of arsenic in fruit juice.

The two lawmakers pushed the White House budget office to release industry guidance on arsenic now under consideration from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"It is inexcusable that these guidelines are stalled while consumers continue to be exposed to potentially dangerous levels of arsenic," Pallone and DeLauro wrote.

"We look forward to your expeditious review and timely release of this guidance document so the FDA can better fulfill its mission of protecting and promoting the public health."

Consumer Reports warned in 2011 that common brands of apple and grape juice contain arsenic levels higher than what is permitted in drinking water.

Healthcare experts fear that frequent exposure to arsenic in juice could heighten kids' risk of developing a deadly disease. Inorganic arsenic has been linked to a range of cancers, including bladder, lung and skin cancer.

The FDA guidelines would be voluntary. Pallone and DeLauro have also written a bill to establish enforceable federal standards for arsenic and lead in juices, and they plan to reintroduce it soon.

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