Arsenic in Brown Rice – What Parents Need to Know

Have you heard the latest about arsenic in brown rice? First, it was arsenic in apple juice. Then this past winter, an infant forumla brand went from the best-of-the-best to the worst-of-the-worst because of the brown rice syrup in its formula, which tested at astronomical levels of arsenic. Then, concern grew to include brown rice generally.

The past couple of years we have been told not to give our kids white rice because its nutrition levels are poor. So, we start to buy brown rice; only to found out we have been poisoning our kids.

Fabulous.

What’s a parent to do?

The first is to get some information. Consumer Reports just issued a report analyzing arsenic levels in a variety of brown rice products – including some kids food products too. It can help your family determine what products to buy (and not buy.) It is also important to note that the infant formula brand that kicked off the brown rice controversy has reformulated its brand and according to lab tests, now tests at near zero levels of arsenic.

In my opinion, this is a growing concern and it is time that the federal government start setting (and enforcing) standards with regard to agricultural practices and testing of products in our food supply. Contact your local legislator and ask them to get involved, and if you are interested, here is a great book about chemicals and how our food has changed over the past 20 years.

What are your thoughts?

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About Charlene DeLoach

As a Boston Mom Blogger in Massachusetts, Charlene DeLoach doesn't care about the megapixels on a smartphone. She only cares about whether it will survive being in the hands of her kids.

Comments

  1. When I heard this today I got so irritated because our family eats brown rice 4-5 days out of the week in lieu of white rice. They did say that you could significantly reduce the amounts of arsenic by washing the brown rice until the water runs clear and by cooking it with lots of water which I do but you are right, it is time for the federal government to start setting and enforcing standards!

  2. My dad friend, Dr David Macintosh, is a leading expert in environmental sciences, particularly in arsenic. I asked him this very question a year ago (our sons are good friends) and he said that arsenic in rice is only an issue in rice grown in developing countries. The levels in rice in the USA is not worrisome.

    Do you want to contact him? I can also send him this link to comment.

  3. Thanks Charlene for highlighting and important issue for our health. You are right, what is one to do?

    I wasn’t aware of this until last week when I attended a Functional Medicine Conference in Los Angeles which covered heavy metal exposures. Arsenic is one of the top 3 heavy metal exposures according to CDC. Not only is it seen in our brown rice but in wood used to make playground sets. The wood is treated with arsenic. The conference highlighted a case about a husband and wife who were building onto their home with said wood. They were both exposed and had quite high levels in their blood. The wife was very ill. The husband had no symptoms. How sick you get depends on your genetic make up and how you metabolize and clear toxins…

    Great book recommendation. Wheat belly is another good one which speaks to why so many people are developing gluten insensitivity. It has to do with the way wheat is genetically modified.

    All very frightening. You are right, everyone needs to stand up and “shout” until this addressed.

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