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Statement on Testing and Analysis of Arsenic in Rice and Rice Products

CFSAN Constituent Update

September 6, 2013

As part of its ongoing and proactive effort to monitor food safety, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today posted the results of testing for the presence of arsenic in approximately 1,300 samples of rice and rice products. This includes the approximately 200 samples of rice and rice products that the FDA initially tested and released the findings in September 2012.

While levels varied significantly depending on the product tested, agency scientists determined that the amount of detectable arsenic is too low in the rice and rice product samples to cause any immediate or short-term adverse health effects.
This new data is the latest of the FDA’s ongoing efforts to understand and manage possible arsenic-related risks associated with the consumption of these foods in the U.S. marketplace.

The FDA has been monitoring arsenic levels in rice for more than 20 years and has seen no evidence of change in levels of total arsenic in rice. We now have tools that provide greater specificity about the different types of arsenic present in foods.
Since rice is a life-long dietary staple for many people, the FDA’s next step is to use these new tools to consider long-term exposure to very low amounts of arsenic in rice and rice products.

The FDA’s advice for consumers, including pregnant women, infants and children, is to eat a well-balanced diet for good nutrition and to minimize potential adverse consequences from consuming an excess of any one food. This advice is consistent with the guidance of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has long stated that parents should feed their infants and toddlers a variety of foods as part of a well-balanced diet.

To read the FDA’s full statement on the agency’s testing and analysis of arsenic in rice and rice products, to review its findings, and for additional related information, visit the FDA’s web page on arsenic in rice and rice products.

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