Levels of Arsenic in Rice Skyrocket, FDA Urged to Set Standards
Thursday, September 20, 2012
A year after consumer groups pressured the Food and Drug Administration to define standards for arsenic in apple juice, they are now forming a similar push for rice. A new study shows an unsettling high level of arsenic — a carcinogenic element that appears in inorganic and organic form — in rice grown in southern states, but the FDA is discouraging panic. Still, arsenic in rice is scaring consumers everywhere.
“Our advice right now is that consumers should continue to eat a balanced diet that includes a wide variety of grains — not only for good nutrition but also to minimize any potential consequences from consuming any one particular food,” says FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.High Levels of Arsenic Detected in Rice
Hamburg also cites the “very few samples” and “variability in the levels” of arsenic in rice found in studies conducted by both the FDA and Consumer Reports. On Wednesday, the FDA released only 200 of the anticipated 1,200 samples of its study, which will go unfinished until the end of the year. Consumer Reports’ study — which had 223 samples — had similar results, with up to 8.7 micrograms of inorganic arsenic per serving.
While arsenic is naturally occurring is water, air, food, and soil, only the organic variety passes through the body harmlessly, while inorganic arsenic — found in pesticides and insecticides — are carcinogenic. Consumer Reports’ Urvashi Rangan says, “It doesn’t make sense not to have standards for rice,” especially since inorganic arsenic can, over time, build up in the body.CONTINUE: [link to www.activistpost.com]