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Rice Commission Calls For Federal Standards After Increased Arsenic Levels Are Found in Food

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, February 16, 2012

An organic sweetener called organic brown rice syrup has been found to be the source of elevated levels of arsenic in some foods according to a new study by Dartmouth researchers.

Their findings are in the journal, "Environmental Health Perspectives" and says one infant formula sweetened with organic brown rice syrup had six times the federal limit for arsenic in drinking water. 

Jim Morris with the California Rice Commission says the Federal Food and Drug Administration should provide guidelines for arsenic content

MORRIS: "Help our farmers, our mills, and consumers understand the importance of arsenic in rice and rice products.  We want the expertise from the F.D.A…a science-based understanding of healthy food and this naturally-occurring element."

All rice starts out as brown rice.  The level of arsenic drops when the husk is removed and the rice becomes white. The FDA says it launched a study of arsenic in rice and rice products this past October and hopes to have the results sometime this spring.
Compared to breakfast bars without rice products, some bars with rice products contained 15 times the amount of arsenic.
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