Of rice and arsenic

FDA urged to establish guidelines for carcinogen in store-bought rice

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is conducting a study of arsenic levels in rice as consumer groups are calling for standards for the carcinogen.

The FDA has studied the issue for decades, maintaining there is no evidence that arsenic levels have made rice unsafe to eat, according to SFGate.com. Its new study is analyzing 1,200 samples of grocery-store rice products, including short- and long-grain rice, adult and infant cereals, rice beverages and rice cakes for arsenic levels.

Rice is particularly susceptible to absorbing arsenic because it is grown in water on the ground, where inorganic arsenic, which is used in pesticides and herbicides, is commonly found.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg urges consumers to eat a wide variety of grains as part of a balanced diet, “to minimize any potential consequences from consuming any one particular food.”