A report published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is calling for tight government standards on Arsenic levels in food. This, after tests have shown high levels of the dangerous toxin in ORGANIC BABY FOOD.
This is doubly worrying: How does such a toxin get into formula, which is consumed by the most susceptible population? Secondly, isn’t the premium that people pay for organic food supposed to assure them toxins will not be found in their food?
What you need to know:
Brown rice syrup is derived by culturing cooked brown rice with enzymes to create a liquid goo. After straining and reduction by heat, the remaining syrup is the sweetener you will find in various foods such as cereal bars, energy drink, and some baby formulas.
Why would there be so much arsenic in rice syrup?
To begin with, rice is very good at absorption of nutrients (and other chemicals) from the soil it is grown in. According to expert pediatrician and health advocate Dr. Alan Greene, the arsenic…
… likely came from arsenical pesticides leftover from decades of chemical farming. They were used on conventional cotton throughout the southern US, and the arsenic remains in the soil long afterwards — even after switching the fields to rice and switching to organic farming methods. Rice grown in California has much less arsenic. Some countries still use arsenical pesticides on their crops. Read more…
When processing the rice to create rice syrup, the arsenic gets much more concentrated. Bummer.
Various consumer advocacy and environmental groups have been asking the government to set a regulatory limit for arsenic levels in foods. Currently the only guideline, By the EPA and over 20 year old, is up to 10 parts per billion (10 ppb) in tap / bottled water.