Arsenic in rice is not a health problem according to the Food and Drug Administration. A Sept. 7 Christian Science Monitor article reported that the levels of arsenic in rice are not dangerous to health, but just in case, people could vary their diets.
The most arsenic in rice is found in brown varieties, while the least amounts of arsenic is found in infant cereals and instant rice. The amounts of arsenic in rice are so small that the FDA believes that it does not pose any short-term negative health issues. However, they are still studying potential long-term health problems, which is why it is saying that varying your diet could help protect you against potential negative effects.
Organic arsenic passes through the body without harming the human body. However, inorganic arsenic, which comes from pesticides and insecticides, does not pass through without harm. The levels of inorganic arsenic in rice ranged from 2.6 to 7.2 micrograms per serving in the FDA study.
Ultimately, the U.S. government is probably going to have to set a limit for the safe amount of arsenic in rice. It occurs naturally, so there will always be some in the food, which is grown in water on the ground. However, the inorganic arsenic is what could end up causing health issues. Obviously more long-term studies will help the government make a good decision on the levels of arsenic in rice that can be safely allowed.