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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released preliminary data on arsenic levels in certain rice and rice products.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released preliminary data on arsenic levels in certain rice and rice products. The data are part of a larger FDA data collection and analysis about arsenic levels in rice and are based on the first set of approximately 200 samples of rice and rice products collected in the U.S. marketplace.
The FDA is in the process of collecting and analyzing a total of approximately 1,200 samples to examine the issue thoroughly. This data collection will be completed by the end of 2012. Once the data collection is completed, the FDA will analyze the results and determine whether or not to issue additional recommendations.
The new data show how much inorganic arsenic the FDA found in its initial samples, which include various brands of rice (non-Basmati), Basmati rice, brown rice, rice cereals (puffed, non-puffed, hot cereal, and infant cereals), rice cakes, and rice milk.
The FDA’s analysis of these initial samples found average levels of inorganic arsenic for the various rice and rice products of 3.5 to 6.7 micrograms of inorganic arsenic per serving. Serving sizes varied depending on the rice product (for example, one serving of non-Basmati rice was equal to one cup cooked).
Based on the currently available data and scientific literature, the FDA does not have an adequate scientific basis to recommend changes by consumers regarding their consumption of rice and rice products.
“It is critical to not get ahead of the science,” said FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods Michael Taylor. “The FDA's ongoing data collection and other assessments will give us a solid scientific basis for determining what action levels and/or other steps are needed to reduce exposure to arsenic in rice and rice products.”
The FDA data are consistent with results that Consumer Reports published on September 19.