Arsenic levels in rice products spur regulatory arsenic limits call

American researchers at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire have found arsenic levels six times higher than in drinking water in organic brown rice syrup (OBRS), which is used in toddler formulas, cereal bars and high-energy foods. OBRS is used as an alternative to high fructose corn syrup, which was criticised for being more harmful than sugar, and for contributing to obesity.

Rice is known to be a source of inorganic arsenic – nutritionist Micki Rose has more information on this issue on her blog , reaching back to June 2009. (She has also written two articles for Foods Matter on the subject: Rice and arsenic - what is going on? and Rice and arsenic - what it do about it.)

The researchers looked at concentrations of different types of arsenic in OBRS and the products that contain OBRS, and found high levels of arsenic and dimethylarsenate (DMA).

They concluded that the US urgently needs to introduce regulatory limits on arsenic in foods, in order to limit the amount of arsenic in an individual’s diet.

Source: Environmental Health Perspectives

Fact sheet addressing key consumer questions about organic brown rice syrup issued by Dartmouth

More miscellaneous research

First Published in January 2012

Top of page