Consumer Reports published a report Sept. 19, 2012, on arsenic in foods made from rice. At the same time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released the first part of what will be a much larger study of arsenic in foods. The findings are that arsenic is present in quantities that might increase a person’s life-time risk of cancer when children consume typical amounts of rice products.
Additional research -- including the results of the ongoing FDA study -- is needed to provide detailed recommendations about what children and adults should eat. Meanwhile, the American Academy of Pediatrics believes that offering children a variety of foods, including products made from oats and wheat, will decrease children’s exposure to arsenic from rice.
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.
FDA: Arsenic in Rice
FDA: Arsenic Q&A
Consumer Reports article, “Arsenic in Your Food”