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Consumer Reports: Rice Has Too Much Arsenic

It advises people to cut down
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2012 4:16 PM CDT

(Newser) – If rice is a big part of your diet, Consumer Reports suggests you cut down. Its testing turned up what it calls "troubling" amounts of arsenic in all types of rice and rice products. The group called on the FDA to develop better safety standards and to phase out the use of arsenic in fertilizers and pesticides. While arsenic occurs naturally, rice absorbs it more easily than most plants from water above and below the soil, says a CR toxicologist.

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The FDA, meanwhile, said it is considering tougher standards but for now does not recommend any change in diet, reports the Washington Post. Two findings of note from the CR study:

  • White rice from Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas had the highest levels of total arsenic and inorganic arsenic, the latter being a carcinogen.
  • In any specific brand tested, brown rice always had higher levels of total arsenic and inorganic arsenic.
Last year, the group went after arsenic in fruit juices. (Read more arsenic stories.)

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