Arsenic in rice?

Arsenic in rice, should we be worried?

The news has recently reported about arsenic found in rice. Arsenic appears naturally in the earth but some sources state that levels increase through the use of arsenic-laced fertilizer.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitors hundreds of foods and beverages looking for substances that could be harmful to consumers. Rice is one of those foods which is processed into so many products and contains varying levels of arsenic, according to the FDA.

Found in the earth’s crust, arsenic is released through volcanoes and erosion and found throughout the environment. Because rice is grown all over the world, different regions may vary greatly with levels of arsenic.

Experts say that rice contains more arsenic than other grains because it is grown submerged in water. Some organizations are asking the FDA to set limits on arsenic. At this time, the FDA continues to test food products as well as rice and is stating that these issues need more study.

According to the USA Rice Federation, food scientists and nutritional experts say that the health benefits of a food need to be taken into consideration versus perceived risk. Eliminating one food from the diet will not end exposure to arsenic because it is naturally occurring and may also be found in fruits and vegetables, as well as water.

At this time, the FDA is not suggesting to decrease the amount of rice consumed, but as Michigan State University Extension also promotes, to focus on a balanced, healthy diet that includes a wide variety of grains as well as other foods.

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