research has found that more than half of some of the most popular rice
cereal products exceed proposed new limits for arsenic. Although there are
strict limits for the amount of arsenic level allowed in water, there are
currently no maximum levels in food – and now some scientists are speaking
out as they are concerned about the effects of long-term exposure.
November 2012, Consumer
published “Arsenic in Your Food,” a report on arsenic in rice and foods
made from rice. At the same time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) released the first part of a larger study of arsenic in food.
foods contain some amount of organic arsenic,
which occurs naturally in the earth. Experts are more concerned when a
food contains certain levels of inorganic arsenic,
which is used in pesticides and other industrial chemicals. Inorganic
arsenic is a potent human carcinogen and can lead to other health problems
later in life.
that some infant
rice cereals contain at least five times as
much inorganic arsenic as alternatives such as oatmeal – and calculated
that a baby who eats two to three servings of rice cereal a day could end
up with a risk of cancer that’s twice what CR considers
an acceptable level.
more evidence emerges about the harm high levels of arsenic might cause,
particularly to children, the European Union is again exceeding U.S.
standards with new maximum levels being proposed with the support of the
Food Standards Agency.
the research products including Kelloggs’
Rice Krispies and Organic
puffed rice cereals were
tested multiple times – and some showed high levels of inorganic arsenic,
far above the proposed limits.
Krispies by Kelloggs were found to have 188 ppb, far above the recommended
levels for babies and children.
research has shown that exposure to a combination of both arsenic and
estrogen, at levels U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers
“safe” for humans, can cause cancer at elevated levels. The higher levels
of added organic brown rice syrup in soy-based formula may explain why
some researchers found higher levels of arsenic in the soy-based formula.
Combined with the presence of both phytoestrogens, soy-based formulas are
a disease promoting ticking time bomb for infants. Texas Tech University
researchers revealed that humans exposed to a combination of both
toxicants were almost twice as likely to develop cancerous cells in their
prostate. The study is
published in the peer-reviewed journal The
make matters worse, Nestle and Mead Johnson Nutrition recently dismissed
calls to remove genetically-modified organisms (GMO) from their infant
formula products in
the US and now evidence is coming forth on long-term risks related to
Andrew Meharg, Professor of Biological Sciences at Queen’s University
Belfast, stated: ‘The European Union is going to set standards for arsenic
levels in baby rice at 100 parts per billion. To my estimation that is far
too high. It should be at least half that.
limits are set so as not to disrupt the rice trade rather than on the
risk to human health.’
around the world are consuming five and ten times the amount of rice they
did just 40 years ago.
Kellogg’s said their cereals are not in the category of foods for infants
and young children, and said it’s a complex issue and a number of proposed
limits are on the table.
Kelloggs spokesman said: ‘The testing we have done shows that the levels
are within the limits of the most up to date proposals we have seen. We
will continue to work with government agencies, scientists, academics and
others in the food industry at a global level to review the data on this