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Thread: Consumer Reports -Inorganic Arsenic in 60 Rice Products

  1. #1
    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    Default Consumer Reports -Inorganic Arsenic in 60 Rice Products

    Even in brown rice from Whole Foods, so much for eating healthy.

    UPDATE 1-US needs arsenic limits in rice-Consumer Reports | Reuters

    Group tests more than 60 popular rice products

    * Finds nearly all contained some level of inorganic arsenic

    * Recommends consumers limit weekly intake of such products

    * Food industry groups argue against singling out one source of arsenic

    By Lisa Baertlein

    LOS ANGELES, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Consumer Reports is urging U.S. limits for arsenic in rice after tests of more than 60 popular products -- from Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal to Gerber infant cereal -- showed that most contained some level of inorganic arsenic, a known human carcinogen.

    The watchdog group said that some varieties of brown rice -- including brands sold by Whole Foods Markets Inc and Wal-Mart Stores Inc -- contained particularly significant levels of inorganic arsenic.

    It recommended ways for children and adults to limit their intake of rice products each week and said U.S. regulators should ban arsenic-containing drugs and pesticides used in crop and animal production.

    "The goal of our report is to inform - not alarm - consumers about the importance of reducing arsenic exposure," said Urvashi Rangan, director of safety and sustainability at Consumer Reports.

    "The silver lining in all of this is that it is possible to get a better handle on this" through improved farming and production practices, Rangan said.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday that it plans to collect data on 1,200 food samples by the end of the year and make its own recommendation on arsenic intake.

    The agency said its own preliminary data on arsenic in rice products is consistent with the Consumer Reports investigation. It 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 in about 200 samples. Consumer Reports notes that the most stringent U.S. state limit on inorganic arsenic in drinking water sets a safety limit of 5 micrograms in a single liter.

    "Our advice right now is that consumers should continue to eat a balanced diet that includes a wide variety of grains - not only for good nutrition but also to minimize any potential consequences from consuming any one particular food," FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said in a statement.

    Earlier this year, Consumer Reports called for limits on arsenic in apple and grape juices after similar testing found "worrisome" levels in those childhood staples.

    Food manufacturers and industry groups said singling out rice products for arsenic levels was alarmist.

    "Recent media stories based on studies about high levels of arsenic in rice are misleading the public about this issue, given that arsenic is everywhere and present in air, soil, water, and foods, including fruits and vegetables," the USA Rice Federation said on its website.

    A spokeswoman for General Mills, whose Rice Chex cereal was included in the Consumer Reports study, said the company was confident there should be no concern for consumers eating their product. Officials at other food manufacturers and retailers, including Kellogg Co, Nestle's Gerber unit and PepsiCo Inc's Quaker Oats were not immediately available for comment.

    LINKS TO DISEASE

    Food is a major source of arsenic in the American diet. It can be found in fruits, vegetables, rice and seafood - all of which are considered healthy.

    Inorganic arsenic is deadly at high doses. It is a known carcinogen that has been linked to a variety of cancers, including skin, lung and bladder, as well as heart disease and other illnesses.

    Organic arsenic is believed to be far less harmful, but two organic forms measured - called DMA and MMA - are classified as possible carcinogens, Consumer Reports said.

    The United States has established federal limits for arsenic in drinking water at 10 parts per billion (ppb). It is monitoring arsenic levels in some foods but has not set limits for arsenic in most foods.

    Consumer Reports' rice tests included multiple samples of more than 60 products - including white and brown rice, infant rice cereals, rice crackers, rice pasta and rice drinks. The group said it found varying but measurable amounts of total arsenic - both inorganic and organic forms  in samples of almost every product tested.

    Notably, testers found that one-fourth of a cup of uncooked rice from samples containing the highest inorganic arsenic levels would approach the amount of inorganic arsenic an adult would get from drinking one liter of water at the federal government's maximum limit of 10 parts per billion.

    They also found that brown rice had higher levels of arsenic. That's because arsenic is concentrated in its healthy outer layers, which are removed to make white rice.

    Products that raise particular concern for children - who are still developing and have significantly lower body weights than adults - include infant rice cereal, ready-to-eat cold breakfast cereals and rice milk, they said.

    The scientists advised limiting servings of those products. In particular, they recommended not exceeding one serving of infant rice cereal per day and excluding rice milk from the daily diets of children under the age of 5.

    As replacements, they suggested other healthy whole grains such as wheat, corn and oats, which have lower arsenic levels.

    Nutritionist Julie Jones, speaking on a call hosted by the food industry-funded International Food Information Council Foundation on Tuesday, called the concern about arsenic in the U.S. food supply "misplaced" and said consumers should be more concerned about eating a healthy diet.

    Jones added that certain elements of a good diet such as fiber can help reduce the harmful effects of arsenic.

    Michael Harbut, a researcher and physician who treats people with arsenic poisoning, said the scientific data does not support such claims.

    "There is no such thing as a safe level of arsenic," said Harbut, who leads the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute's Environmental Cancer Program at Wayne State University in Detroit.
    'I had to get rid of the kid. The cat was allergic.'

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    There goes my brown rice. Hello barley!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    Nooooooooooooooooooo
    Posted from my iPhone
    KILLING ME WON'T BRING BACK YOUR GOD DAMNED HONEY!!!!!!!!!!

    Come on, let's have lots of drinks.

    Fuck you all, I'm going viral.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    On further thought, if this was true half of Mexico and Asia would be dead.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Don't panic. Arsenic is also in your fruits and veggies. I have no idea why they singled out rice to test. No need to stop eating rice.
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej

    http://www.gossiprocks.com/forum/signaturepics/sigpic4098_9.gif Healthy is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    What about old lace? Did they say how much old lace was in any of this stuff?
    Waterslide and Kathie_Moffett like this.

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    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    McJag, WiredScience addresses that:

    Of course, this also suggests that we should avoid a rice-rich diet and that some groups who more frequently consume rice – Asians, Latinos, those on a gluten-free diet – may be at more risk. And it’s on this note, I think, that our government is letting us down on the consumer protection front. The general assurances and advice that we eat a varied diet which seems to the current FDA approach is not really a substitute for the very specific answers needed.
    And more about the origins of the rice:

    Still there are a few points from these latest findings that are definitely worth repeating. As the magazine also notes, “White rice grown in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Texas, which accounts for 76 percent of domestic rice, generally had higher levels of total arsenic and inorganic arsenic in our tests than rice samples from elsewhere.”

    What does this mean?

    Well, first, “total arsenic” refers to the fact that the tests look at two forms, or species, of the poison – organic and inorganic. Organic, of course, refers to an arsenic compound that includes the element carbon. Inorganic arsenic – as an example, the very poisonous compound arsenic trioxide (As2O3) is notably carbon free. And this matters because, as it turns out, the human body does a very reasonable job of metabolizing organic arsenic. In other words, it’s not nearly as risky to us as arsenic in its inorganic forms. As I wrote in a post titled, “Is Arsenic the Worst Chemical in the World?”, inorganic arsenic is basic bad news.

    Second, why is rice from the American south popping here? One of the leading theories is that in these states, rice is now growing in fields that used to be home to cotton. For a large part of the 20th century, the primary pesticides used to beat back insects like the boll weevil were lead arsenate compounds, which have left a long-lasting residue in southern soils. There’s another theory – which the magazine Mother Jones has been arguing – that this is related to runoff from nearby chicken farms, thanks to the use of arsenic additives in chicken feed. (Use of these organic arsenic additives has been temporarily suspended due to the finding that they may convert to inorganic arsenic.)

    Third, although Southern states produce primarily white rice, recent testing found that arsenic levels overall tend to be higher in brown rice species. This is because as white rice is processed, much of the rice hull is removed and that tends to be a place where the mineral is concentrated. The Dartmouth College toxic metals program offers a very helpful FAQ regarding its own findings on arsenic contamination of brown rice products.

    Finally - and this is where the FDA has left all of us hanging – do the levels of inorganic arsenic found in rice pose an actual health threat? So far the agency and, not surprisingly, the U.S. Rice Federation, insist not – that these are only trace amounts in a product generally considered a healthy food. And that’s a valid point although it’s unclear what the agency, at least, bases those assurances on as, so far, the only government safety standard comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is aimed at well water.
    Arsenic and Rice. Yes, again. | Wired Science | Wired.com
    'I had to get rid of the kid. The cat was allergic.'

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