I have to admit this, I am a worrier. Having children gave me two more beings to worry about too.
So, that’s why when Dr. Oz says, on his show, that apple juice has arsenic in it, my ears perk up. I am an apple juice fan, when it comes to toddlers. It’s such a pale, inoffensive color that blends so nicely with most clothing ensembles, unlike purple grape juice or red fruit punches.
Apple juice, potentially dangerous?
“No! Say it isn’t so!” my brain cries.
Aside from a knee-jerk reaction, I did go to school for business, and, after several statistics classes, I’ve come to the decision that Mark Twain was completely right when he said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” Since statistics are subject to human interpretation, media outlets often report them incorrectly or in misleading ways. This is what I tried to remind myself.
Delving into the numbers
My favorite myth dispeller is the Statistical Assessment Service, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank affiliated with George Mason University. Its stated purpose includes a mission to “correct scientific misinformation in the media and in public policy resulting from bad science, politics or a simple lack of information or knowledge.”
Travis Butterworth of STATS is also a contributor to Forbes who wrote a rebuttal calling Dr. Oz’s research flawed. Butterworth pointed out that the famous doctor is a heart surgeon, whereas the Food and Drug Administration says apple juice is safe and specifically employs professionals such as the FDA's Dr. Zink, "a microbiologist and biochemist specializing in food," who provides a thorough account of why the juice is not harmful.
Based on the FDA and STATS, apple juice still occupies a prime spot on my refrigerator shelf.
What's your take on this?
Who do you believe? Do you investigate, when it comes to products or foods and your kids?