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NewsBites November 2013 Issue

FDA: Little Risk from Arsenic in Rice

After testing more than 1,300 types of rice and rice products, the US Food and Drug Administration has concluded that arsenic levels in rice pose no immediate health risk to consumers. The agency reported it found arsenic levels ranging from 3 to 7 micrograms (one-millionth of a gram) per serving—amounts the FDA said posed no short-term health hazard to humans. That’s generally higher, however, than arsenic levels in apple juice, for which the FDA proposed new limits earlier this year.

A carcinogen when consumed in large quantities, arsenic occurs naturally in the environment, although industrial contamination can add to arsenic levels. Determining safe amounts in rice and rice products is complicated, because of the variety of such foods and different patterns of consumption. The FDA said it would address such questions in a follow-up assessment.

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