Consumer Reports published a report in 2012 on disturbing levels of arsenic in rice which we shared via the eZine. Just recently, they updated their report and we wanted to share the latest information on rice especially since so much gluten-free foods are rice based.
Arsenic has two chemical forms, inorganic and organic. The organic form can be less toxic and is naturally part of the minerals in the earth’s crust. However, a lot of arsenic has been released into the environment and is in the soil and water because of the use of pesticides and poultry fertilizer. Another problem is that rice absorbs arsenic more readily than many other plants.
Science has demonstrated that regular exposure to even small amounts of arsenic can increase the risk of bladder, lung, and skin cancer, as well as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Studies have also shown that arsenic exposure in pregnant women may have effects on the infant’s immune system.
Recent Study Findings
Consumer Report’s most recent testing and analysis provided new information on the risk of arsenic exposure in infants and children through rice cereal and other rice products. The Food and Drug Administration released data in 2013 on the inorganic arsenic content of 656 processed rice-containing products. Consumer Reports discovered that rice cereal and rice pasta could have much more inorganic arsenic (a carcinogen) than their 2012 data showed. According to the results of their new tests, one serving could put kids over the maximum amount of rice recommended in a week. Rice cakes supply close to a child’s weekly limit in one serving. Rice drinks can also be high in arsenic, and children younger than 5 should not drink them.
Consumer Reports Article
To see which varieties of rice have the highest levels of arsenic, which are safest, grains that you can substitute with, and to read the entire November 2014 Consumer Report article including a video summarizing their concerns, select the following link:
Consumer Awareness Guide
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