Last week, Consumer Reports (you will be prompted to enter your Syosset Public Library barcode) published findings of “worrisome” levels of arsenic in ordinary rice sold in the U.S. Arsenic contamination affected a variety of rice forms: brown and white, organic and regular, long and short-grain. The researchers found arsenic in dozens of commercial products including baby food, cereals, rice cakes and rice drinks. The FDA reported similar results in an initial statement released last week and is pursuing further studies of the matter.
Currently, the EPA limits arsenic in water to 10 parts per billion. There are no federal regulations or limits for arsenic in rice or most other foods. On September 20, the Consumers Union sent a letter to the FDA urging the agency to move forward on standards for arsenic levels in food products.
So what should a person who eats rice do in the meantime?
FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D – “Our advice right now is that consumers should continue to eat a balanced diet that includes a wide variety of grains – not only for only for good nutrition but also to minimize any potential consequences from consuming any one particular food,” says Hamburg.
Michael Hansen, a senior scientist at Consumer Reports – “The take home point for consumers is to be concerned, people should be aware of the levels they’re eating and try to moderate their intake.”
For further information about arsenic visit MedlinePlus.
posted by, Susan – Health Reference Librarian