The FDA continues to investigate arsenic levels in rice. According to a Sept. 6 article on USA Today, they have released the first reports on the results of 1300 new samples which varied in the amount of arsenic found. While the tests results were not high enough to “give us cause or concern fort immediate or near-term effects,” according to the FDDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, there were some special concerns about baby food rice cereal.
In the FDA test results, brown rice and infant rice cereal had the highest measurements of arsenic with 160 and 120 parts per billion per serving respectively. To put the numbers into perspective, the EPA sets arsenic limits for water at 10.
Urvashi Rangon, the director of Consumer Reports’ policy division, Consumers Union, suggests that consumers should diversify the grains that they eat. She also recommended that parents not feed infant rice cereal to their babies on a daily basis.
Arsenic is in the soil and is particularly absorbed into rice because the soil is flooded with water, releasing the carcinogen.