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Arsenic in Rice Prompts FDA Investigation

Wed, 3 Oct 2012 10:35:50 EST

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been monitoring rice and rice products for traces of inorganic arsenic, a chemical that can cause serious long-term health effects under certain circumstances. The agency has already analyzed about 200 rice and rice product samples and plans to analyze an additional 1,000 samples.

Common rice products include cereals, rice beverages, and rice cakes, but within the same products arsenic levels can vary greatly, as the FDA discovered.

After initial samples were analyzed, the FDA obtained the following results for inorganic arsenic in product samples: cooked rice: 6.7 micrograms per 1 cup; rice cakes: 5.4 micrograms per 2 cups; rice beverages: 3.8 micrograms per 240 ml; rice cereals: 3.7 micrograms per 1 cup; and cooked basmati rice: 3.5 micrograms per 1 cup.

Currently, the FDA is advising consumers not to change their consumption, as long as their diets include a variety of grains. After testing the other 1,000 product samples, the FDA will reassess recommendations if necessary.

Arsenic is a chemical element found throughout the environment in water, air, and soil; therefore, its presence in some food and beverages is sometimes inevitable. Arsenic is also added to the environment through human activities such as burning coal, oil, gasoline and wood, mining.

'Arsenic is found in either one of two forms, organic and inorganic; however, the inorganic form detected in rice products is more hazardous than the organic form,' states Shannon Kauffman, EMSL's Metal Laboratory Manager. 'EMSL Analytical is one of the few laboratories in the country that has the capability to detect arsenic levels in food and other environmental samples.'

For more information on EMSL's food testing services, please contact EMSL at (800) 220-3675, email  info@EMSL.com , or visit www.EMSL.com or www.FoodTestingLab.com.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


Source: WebWire

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