In September 2013, the FDA released results of its investigation of arsenic levels in over 1,300 samples of rice and rice products. The sampled products included more than 30 categories of food, including grain products and a variety of products containing rice. Overall, the FDA found variable quantities of arsenic in the rice and rice products it tested.
Additional research -- including the results of another FDA study evaluating the risk of consuming arsenic in foods and beverages -- is needed to provide detailed recommendations about what children and adults should eat. Based on the FDA’s recent analysis of arsenic levels in rice and rice products, the agency is not recommending specific limitations on how much rice or rice products should be consumed. Rather, the FDA is continuing to recommend that:
- All consumers, including infants, children, and pregnant women, should eat a variety of foods
- A variety of foods should include a variety of grains
- Parents seeking to limit rice cereal intake for their children can choose to diversify a child’s diet with other grain products
Earlier in 2012, similar questions were raised about arsenic in juice products. It is not necessary to offer children any juice to have a well-balanced, healthy diet. For years, the AAP has recommended limited intake of all sweet beverages, including juice.
The AAP will work with the FDA and other federal agencies to limit the use of arsenic and will participate in discussions about decreasing arsenic exposure through food and beverages.
Parents who have questions about their child’s nutrition are encouraged to speak with their pediatrician.
Healthy Children Radio: Arsenic in Foods (Audio)
In response to an investigation regarding the arsenic content of rice and rice products, conducted by the Food and Drug Administration, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers guidance to families concerned about the impact of such exposure to their children's health.
The AAP advises that parents offer their children a wide variety of foods, including other grains such as oats, wheat and barley, which will decrease their child's exposure to arsenic from rice.
Pediatrician Clara Filice, MD, FAAP, appears on the Healthy Children show on RadioMD to discuss the findings of the investigation and what parents can do to decrease their children’s exposure to arsenic in foods.
Segment 1: Worried About Arsenic in Your Food?