Consumer Reports: Arsenic levels in rice considered 'worrisome'

Consumer Reports: Arsenic levels in rice considered 'worrisome'

Posted:

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A new study by Consumer Reports shows higher levels of arsenic, a chemical substance known to cause cancer, in rice and rice products.

The study calls for greater government regulation for arsenic levels in food. There is already a standard for arsenic levels in drinking water.

The Knox County Health Department says it's not necessary to eliminate rice from your diet.

"It's not something to be concerned with. It's nothing new. There's always been the possibility of having arsenic in minute, trace amounts. It's easily found in ground water, drinking water, and some vegetables that are grown close to the ground," explained Scott Bryan, KCHD environmental health manager.

Consumer Reports says the results aren't meant to alarm people, but to keep them informed.

Several people who spoke with 6 News Wednesday said their main concern isn't with how it would affect their health.

"I'm concerned, young people eating rice, especially the baby formulas. I know Gerber was saying this morning that it's not an issue. But rice milk, baby cereals, I think there is going to be an issue with that," Ron Lessly said.

Another parent, Trevor Smith, said he would think twice before feeding rice cereal to another child. "If we have any more children, we'll probably want to follow through and make sure all the right research has been done and make sure the food is safe."

"The FDA is the one I would really rely on to give advice concerning food. They're the top authority on that. And they are really hesitant to change recommendations based on one or two small studies because they have to do a study with a large sample in order to be able to say something conclusively," Bryan explained.

The body does not store arsenic. "Your body does eliminate it," Bryan said. "It's not something that persists in your body like mercury or any other toxic compound. So your body is really good at getting it out of the body as well."

Right now, the Food and Drug Administration is not recommending any changes when it comes to the consumption of rice and rice products, but it is conducting its own study.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.