U.S. Plans to Put limits on Arsenic level in rice: Consumer Reports


The consumer products like Kellogg’s cereal, rice baby cereal, Krispies cereal as well as brown and white rice are found to be containing significant amount of inorganic arsenic which is harmful for both children and adults.

Urvashi Rangan, a member of consumer union states that our report is to educate the consumers to have diversification in their diet rather than alarming the rice eaters. As arsenic is a known carcinogen, they (children and adults) should limit their consumption of weekly rice products.

The consumer groups are forcing the Food and Drug Administration to set some guidance for the acceptable amount of arsenic in foods. FDA is planning to have a food sample of 1200 rice products to measure the arsenic level. The agency results have showed consistency with the Consumer Reports investigation which states that 3.5 to 6.7 micrograms of inorganic arsenic per serving is present in about 200 samples.

American researchers have found that arsenic level is six times higher in organic brown rice syrup (used in high energy foods, toddler formulas and cereal bars) as compared to drinking water. As the federal limits on drinking water i.e. 5 micrograms of inorganic arsenic in a singe liter are being in practice, there should also be limits on arsenic level in foods.

Margret Hamburg, FDA Commissioner said “consumers should include variety of grains in their balanced diet that is not only good for their nutrition but it will also reduce the consequences of intake of single food”.

The USA rice federation stated, “Recent media stories are misleading the public about the arsenic issue, we believe that consumers understand that arsenic is a naturally occurring element in food, air, water and soil”.

In America, food is a key basis of arsenic which is found in all healthy considered foods. Arsenic is naturally present in organic and inorganic form in water, air, food and soil. Organic arsenic is essentially harmless while inorganic arsenic is toxic and if consumed for longer period, it may cause the cancer. So the scientists advised limited serving of arsenic containing products.

Michael Harbut, a physician (arsenic treatment) and researcher said, “There is no safe level of arsenic”.


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