The Environmental Law Foundation recently tested fruit juice products; paying particular attention to those which are marketed to children. They reported that 85% of the drinks that they tested contained enough lead to require a warning, in order to comply with California's Proposition 65. Of course, none of them actually bore this warning label, or any other.
The company doing this study is our only source of evidence; and we feel that they have been involved in some paranoid cases in the past, so we are approaching this topic with some healthy scientific skepticism. We certainly would not want to dissuade our readers from fruit juices, unless there really is an exceptionally bad problem with their purity, for we know that juices are the only intake of fruits for some readers.
According to the E.L.F., lead was found in major brands of juice, including Welsh's, Great Value, Kroger, and Walgreens. Lead was also discovered in organic brands, including 365, Earth's Best, and O` Organic. They also tested small packs of packaged fruit, because they are commonly consumed by children. They found that the great majority of these also contained lead.
Lead is a bio-accumulative heavy metal toxin, which has been linked to a reduced I.Q., learning disabilities, organ failure, reduced academic performance, and problems with mood regulation. The body cannot normally eliminate it from the body, so small doses culminate over time. Unlike the case for most other toxins, regulators have stated that there is no safe dosage of lead. Even the smallest amounts can cause serous long term problems. It is especially likely to cause developmental problems for children and fetuses. Its effect is a matter of how the dice fall. Even a timely intervention by a naturopathic doctor may not help, because it is difficult to chelate lead out of a body.
According to the U.S. Apple Association, 42% of apple juice in the United States is imported from China. These imports are mixed with other juices, as almost all juices have apple juice added to them. The U.S. Apple Association also claims that juice products, which are made from concentrate, are required by law to bear labels that indicate their national origins. However, we have searched several brands, and only found the countries of origin on Nestlé and Great Value brands, both of which were labeled 'China'. It is a safe bet that most companies are ignoring this labeling requirement, and it is possible that many of them do not even know about the law. Judging by the chemical war that China is waging against the U.S., we have no doubts concerning its involvement, but we have no way of knowing if the lead contamination is restricted to just Chinese imports. We do know that the lead poisonings can not be happening by accident. It's like the melamine that the Chinese put into infant formulas all over again; but this time, the poison is specifically targeted at families who are trying to keep their children healthy.
If anyone has more information regarding lead contamination in fruit products, please contact us immediately. We assume the report was legitimate, so we recommend that our readers be especially wary of children's juice boxes, and be sure to notice the country of origin on all fruit products.
The vast majority of juices sold in major retailers are produced from concentrate. While this should not be a serious issue; these drinks are often reconstituted using tap water. So, drinking juice can sometimes be just as unhealthy as drinking the fluoridated and chlorinated municipal water. Do not take this as an endorsement of soft drinks, which may also be made with tap water, contain benzene, high fructose corn syrup, and are only distributed in BPA-lined cans and BPA plastics.
V8 drinks are also produced from concentrate, and they were bought by Campbell's long ago. We would strongly recommend against any product produced by this company, as they will happily lie and deceive whenever they can get away with it. They are known for claiming "MSG-free" on products which contain autolyzed yeast extract, a chemical which contains glutamic acid. They feign ignorance at the expense of people who are trying to become healthy. V8 drinks are cooked at such high temperatures that their nutritional value is barely above that of water -- tap water, that is. Nothing that is truly natural, healthy, and organic can sit on the shelves for months without going rotten. In general, beware of any "enhanced" or "super" drinks from the processed foods industry.