Last year, FoodFacts.com followed the disturbing controversy over arsenic found in apple juice products here in the U.S. Dr. Oz first reported on this and the concept and evidence was debunked. Just a few months later, however, the evidence was corroborated and brand names were released along with the levels of arsenic found in their samples.
Today, there’s more bad news and a brand new arsenic concern. Consumer Reports has released a report on arsenic levels in rice and rice products. Things like rice cereals, rice milk and rice that you prepare yourself. It’s disturbing and something we want our FoodFacts.com community to be aware of.
We know that arsenic is poison and that it doesn’t take much of it to actually kill a person. Those aren’t the levels of arsenic being found in these products, though. And the low levels discovered can, in fact, lead to serious health problems when consumed over time. In fact, it has been shown that just tiny amounts of arsenic exposure can result in cancer years later. Arsenic is already a known and powerful carcinogen, and there are currently studies being done by the Environmental Protection agencies that may find it to be a more serious concern than it was ever given credit for.
While these studies are being done, Consumer Reports has completed an analysis of its own. And they focused on numerous different forms of rice products. Rice was chosen as the study focus because previous research has already shown that it does contain more arsenic than other grains. Reasons for this could be because of how it is grown and the fact that it can absorb the arsenic from the soil and water used in its cultivation.
Consumer Reports tested over 60 different rice products and is recommending that people limit their rice consumption in more than a few different ways. For infants, for instance, they are suggesting that only one serving of rice cereal be given once per day. Children under five years of age should not consume rice drinks regularly. And older children should not eat any more than one and a half cups of rice cereal once per week. So much for Rice Krispies. There are even strong recommendations for adults.
While they have made some strong recommendations, the analysis illustrates a random sample of products and therefore, they are not including recommendations of specific brands. They did note however that brown rice had consistently more arsenic than white rice.
There are some great recommendations regarding how you can help reduce possible arsenic in rice by your cooking method that you’ll definitely want to check out.
FoodFacts.com feels quite strongly that both the FDA and EPA should be looking far more closely at this report. There is a need for further studies on other food sources and arsenic levels. There are many areas that need immediate attention for a variety of reasons. It’s already known that poultry manure is a source of arsenic and should actually be banned, until the feeding of drugs containing arsenic to chickens is stopped completely.
This Consumer Reports analysis raises even greater concerns about the safety of our food supply. Our government needs to step up and address this disturbing and serious problem.
FoodFacts.com invites you to read more: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/arsenicinfood.htm