An Online Resource for Information on Arsenic in Rice
In July 2014, the CODEX Alimentarius Commission, a working group of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization, approved a recommendation from their Committee on Contaminants in Foods (CCCF) to establish a maximum level (ML) for inorganic arsenic in polished (white) rice of 0.2 mg/kg, along with the future development of a code of practice for growing rice.
Rice is a wholesome, nutritious and affordable food that has supported half the world's populations for hundreds of years.
There is no documented evidence in the United States that links rice consumption to human health problems.
The overall arsenic content of U.S. rice is similar to rice grown in other parts of the world, according to the World Health Organization's food safety standards body.
FDA says there is no scientific data to support dietary changes.
The U.S. rice industry is committed to maintaining the safety of U.S. grown rice and supports the FDA's examination of the issue to better understand the science of arsenic in food.
The rice industry is conducting research to determine the impact of agronomic practices and processing on arsenic uptake in rice and documenting the known health benefits of rice consumption versus perceived risk.
Independent laboratory analysis using the FDA's arsenic testing method found the arsenic content of U.S. rice within the range of international rice samples.
In the Sept. 6 data release, FDA 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.” FDA also noted that “rice is a life-long dietary staple for many people” and does not recommend changes by consumers regarding their consumption of rice and rice products. The results confirm those released one year ago and FDA is once again assuring consumers that rice should be part of a well-balanced diet.
"During my more than 25 years of clinical practice, I have never seen any of my patients become ill or suffer a health condition due to arsenic in food, not even foods that consumers eat on a daily basis."
– Dr. Keith-Thomas Ayoob
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
"In general, although more rice intake seems to mean more arsenic exposure, populations with the highest rice intake actually have lower, not higher, rates of cancer than ours in the U.S. The presence of a contaminant in a food does not necessarily mean there is a problem."
– Dr. David Katz
Yale Univeristy Prevention Research Center
"I think the best thing to do is go on with what you’re doing and realize that [the risk] was a little overstated. The levels are low, and there are many other foods that have this."
– Dr. Frank LoVecchio
Banner Good Samaritan Poison & Drug Information Center