Environmental connections to public health >>
Rate Your Plate Series: Should You Worry About Arsenic in Rice?
In EWG’s view, the answer is yes.
Federal government scientists and regulators and food industry officials are scrambling to respond to emerging evidence that arsenic, a known human carcinogen, contaminates many otherwise healthy foods that contain rice. EWG scientists have concluded that consumers should shop vigilantly, choosing foods selectively to lower their chances of consuming excessive arsenic. That’s why EWG’s Food Scores flags arsenic as a “concern” in rice-based products.
According to our detailed assessment and research, there is no simple way to determine how much rice-based food you can safely eat. All the arsenic in your diet adds to your lifetime risk of developing cancer. However this factor must be weighed against the nutritional qualities of foods you might eat in the place of rice. Rice is an affordable grain that figures in the daily fare of millions of Americans, particularly Asian and Latino families, vegetarians and people on a gluten-free diet. Rice flour, bran and syrup are added to many processed foods like crackers, pasta and granola bars. Infants and children are commonly fed rice-based cereals...