How did Arsenic Get into Organic Baby Formula?

Arsenic in Brown Rice Syrup?

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.

Get FooducatediPhone App Android App  RSS Subscription or  Email Subscription
Follow us on twitter: on facebook:

  • Carol

    It doesn’t appear that the study compared organic vs. non-organic rice syrup (or even tested non-organic for arsenic), so it is very likely that non-organic versions have even more arsenic. Last year a study in Europe found elevated levels of arsenic in rice cereals there… not organic. And recently FDA sent a warning letter to a major US manufacturer of non-organic juice concentrate for arsenic in pear juice concentrate. The stuff is in the soil… pretty much everywhere. But comparing EPA’s arsenic limit for a liter of water (which one could easily drink in a day), vs. in a liter of brown rice syrup (which one would never consume within even a month) is a bit off base. Very troubling that this news is being twisted by some to denounce organic.

    • StrainedWingnuts

      Goodness gracious, organics must not be exposed when poisoning kids, but apple juice with traces of arsenic is fair game for sensationalism. Foodie double standard at play here, eh? Organic is the biggest food scam going and gullible foodies fall for it every time. So entertaining.

      • Greencrusader

        Organic food is not a scam. If you can read you will see that chemical farming has poisoned the soil. Even after decades of organic farming residues still remain. Keep eating pesticide laden food you idiot. It’s good for population comtrol.

  • Lois

    What about Clif organic Z Bars?  The 2nd ingredient is organic brown rice syrup.  They are tasty, low in cals and seemed to be healthy.

  • bozo

    It’s in the food chain, so what is the big deal? In several generations it will be lower. This is much like the dixon scare some years back with dioxin in ice-cream. It’s in the food chain like mercury and lead in fish.

  • katherine d

    I’ve heard it’s also in plain organic brown rice….should we be worried about that too?

  • bozo

    Arsenic in in most city water supplies and has been forever.

  • Pingback: News You Can Use – Feb 12-19 2012 « Eating Disorder Pro

  • Kevin Earls

    I am really curious about how arsenic get into organic formula. I think that they really need to answer the questions that cross the mind in every costumer they have. I know that everyone is interested to listen to their explanation about this situation.

  • Anonymous

    Arsenic is found is groundwater. It’s also use as an herbicide in organic farming methods. That’s right, arsenic is organic!

  • juliareebon

    It is very important to explain how theses dangerous toxin come from. People should be more advanced about their food before taking. Thanks for posting this important issue. Keep it up.

  • cpeter340

    We have found several kinds of adulteration issues in different baby food
    brands which consist of harmful chemical products and that definitely affect
    our baby’s health. Mostly we have found chemical products like arsenic and
    others in our baby foods it is quite better to avoid using chemicals in baby
    products otherwise we have found most of the babies are suffering from various