Toxic Levels of Arsenic Found in Rice

Recent studies have revealed that certain rice products, including toddler formulas, may contain the chemical arsenic, Medscape News reports. Arsenic has been linked to learning disabilities, heart disease and several types of cancer.

“Consumer Reports” and the Food and Drug Administration each conducted independent research reviewing levels of arsenic in rice and rice products. The consumer-advocacy magazine tested 60 products, like rice milk and rice cereal, while the FDA reviewed 200 rice-containing products.

They both reported harmful levels of arsenic. In some products, these levels exceeded the federally regulated limits on arsenic found in drinking water.

There are currently no federal mandates regulating arsenic levels in food.

Neither group reported organic rice to be safer to eat than conventionally grown rice.

“First and foremost, I want to warn parents that every rice cereal product we tested contained arsenic. These results are shocking because rice cereal is often a baby’s first solid food,” said Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in an official press release. “Parents and caregivers should moderate the amount of rice products they feed their children.”

Arsenic is a chemical found naturally in groundwater that forms several toxic compounds. Although all fruits, vegetables and grains are grown from soil, rice is particularly susceptible to arsenic contamination because it grows in flooded fields.

When a toxic amount of arsenic is eaten, symptoms like drowsiness, headaches, confusion and diarrheacan occur within 30 minutes, according to Medical News Today.

Prolonged exposure to low levels of arsenic has been linked to increased rates of bladder, lung and skin cancers, as well as heart disease. It has also been linked to diabetes, liver disease, digestive difficulties and complications of the nervous system.

In a response to the findings of these studies, the USA Rice Federation said they believe rice is safe. They also claim that the “FDA agrees” because the FDA has claimed that there is not yet enough evidence to make a recommendation on rice consumption. To gather further evidence, the FDA has resolved to test 1,200 more rice products by the end of the year.

In the meantime, “Consumer Reports” recommends boiling your rice with more water than necessary. Draining the excess water afterward “removes about 30 percent of the inorganic arsenic.”

The safest recommendation would be to drastically reduce the amount of grains in your diet. The Maximized Living Advanced Nutrition Plan recommends completely removing sugars and poor carbohydrates (which convert to sugar in your blood) in order to stabilize blood sugar levels, balance critical hormones like insulin and even help with healthy weight management. Daily detoxification also helps to safely remove foreign substances from your body.

Concerned about what your family is eating? Unfortunately, rice is not the only concern. Many processed foods contribute to a variety of diseases, including cancer. To learn more, contact your nearest Maximized Living doctor for more information.