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Whole Foods' bottled water contains potentially harmful levels of arsenic, according to Consumer Reports test results published Wednesday.
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The Food and Drug Administration limits levels of arsenic, a potentially dangerous metal, to 10 parts per billion (ppb), but after CR tested dozens of water bottle brands, it found that Whole Foods' Starkey Spring Water has arsenic levels ranging from 9.49 to 9.56 ppb.
"Beyond the required annual testing by an FDA certified lab, we have an accredited third-party lab test every production run of water before it is sold," a Whole Foods spokesperson told FOX Business. "These products meet all FDA requirements and are fully compliant with FDA standards for heavy metals.”
One sample tested registered 10.1 ppb. CR found that the Whole Foods-brand water bottles contained an average of at least three times the amount of arsenic found in other brands.
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The FDA told CR in a statement that Starkey Spring Water arsenic levels meet FDA requirements, and arsenic is a naturally occurring element that "is not possible to remove" entirely "from the environment or food supply."
James Dickerson, Ph.D., CR’s chief scientific officer, said in a statement that while one bottle will not harm a consumer, "regular consumption of even small amounts of the heavy metal over extended periods increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and lower IQ scores in children, and poses other health issues as well."
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Starkey Spring Water bottles are sold at most U.S. Whole Foods locations, according to the report, which highlights inconsistencies with regard to how water is regulated in the country.
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