Health Buzz: FDA Proposes Limit for Arsenic in Apple Juice

Egg freezing: a new frontier in fertility; Plus, is alcohol labeling useful?


New Arsenic Limit for Apple Juice Matches The Limit Set for Drinking Water

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed to limit the amount of inorganic arsenic in apple juice to 10 parts per billion. For reference, 10 parts per billion is the same arsenic "action level" set for drinking water by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "We have been studying this issue comprehensively, and based on the agency's data and analytical work, the FDA is confident in the overall safety of apple juice for children and adults," Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the FDA, stated in a press release. The FDA has been monitoring the presence of arsenic in apple juice samples for the last two decades, according to its press release, and has found that arsenic levels were consistently low and within the new limits. The new action level is intended to provide guidance for the industry and to prevent consumers from encountering the few exceptions – the lots with arsenic levels higher than 10 parts per billion.

Egg Freezing: A New Frontier in Fertility

Even as a girl, Sarah Elizabeth Richards seemed maternal. The oldest of four, she was the most sought-after babysitter on her San Diego block. Her friends figured she'd be the first among them to have kids. And one day, she always assumed, she would. But at 36, Richards found herself single in New York City and consumed with the fear of that prospect dimming with each passing month.

After years of mounting worry about her biological clock, Richards found a way to free herself – and her fertility. Over the next two years, she spent $50,000 (her savings plus the wedding fund her parents set up for her) on eight rounds of egg freezing – a process that lets a woman use her younger, and ostensibly healthier, eggs when she's ready to conceive.

"What else is there that I would want to spend money on that would be more important than this?" says Richards, now 42, who describes her experience and that of three others in her recently-released book, "Motherhood Rescheduled: The New Frontier of Egg Freezing and the Women Who Tried It." [Read more: Egg Freezing: A New Frontier in Fertility]

Is Alcohol Labeling Useful?

People tend to overlook 'liquid calories,' particularly those that come from alcoholic beverages – because if you don't chew, it seems like it doesn't count. Sadly, that's not the case, writes U.S. News blogger Bonnie Taub-Dix.

It may seem obvious that a frozen Margarita served in a glass the size of a small swimming pool could be excessive, but did you know that a nice, clear, colorless gin and tonic packs over 250 calories? And that number could be even higher, depending on who's pouring and how much is being poured.

Those "invisible" liquid calories may carry more weight in the near future, because your favorite can of beer or bottle of wine or spirits might be getting a makeover. [Read more: Is Alcohol Labeling Useful?]

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