FDA – August 13, 2020 – According to a news report posted on mednews365.com, some grains used in certain types of baby cereal can contain levels of arsenic. However, baby cereal containing rice can contain much higher levels of arsenic. The United States Food and Drug Administration has issued a new, allowable limit for the amount of arsenic that may be found in rice baby cereal. Rice has a high arsenic absorption rate and can have as much as ten times more arsenic than triticale, wheat, oats, rye, oat bran, brown rice, barley, and flaxseed.
Rice cereal is one of the first solid foods for infants, and rice can significantly impact a baby’s development. Infants eat several servings of rice cereal each a day and may lead to a large exposure of toxic, inorganic arsenic. Arsenic can harm an infant’s IQ and damage the neurodevelopmental system of the small child.
Arsenic is an element that found in nature. The problem of arsenic contamination in baby rice cereal has been an issue for a very long time. Since 2012, governmental agencies and safety groups have asked the FDA to place a limit on the amount of arsenic allowable in rice cereal. The FDA set the new limit to 100 parts of arsenic per billion in infant rice cereal. The change is acceptable, however, several agencies have requested an even lower limit. Another issue raised by other agencies and organizations is that the new guideline is voluntary for manufacturers. Consumer advocates state that limits should also be placed on all heavy metals, such as cadmium and lead.
Long-term exposure to arsenic can cause certain kinds of cancer, skin disease, and death. Infants have an increased risk of development and learning issues when exposed to arsenic. The FDA tests products more frequently for products that are consumed by infants and small children.
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