(NEW YORK) — Low levels of detectable arsenic found in rice and rice products do not pose any immediate health risks, according to a report by the Food and Drug Administration released Friday.
Approximately 1,300 products were tested, including infant cereals, rice cakes, pasta and beer. Though the amounts discovered don’t have immediate effects, scientists are looking into whether long-term exposure to the small amounts will cause any harm.
Arsenic is a naturally occurring substance and is found in water, air, soil and food, so the results aren’t too surprising, according to experts.
Rice is able to concentrate minerals from the soil since it is grown in paddies, making it effective at pulling arsenic out of the ground and into the kernels. All forms of the food contain a trace amount of the substsance, the study finds.
The FDA plans to conduct additional sampling on infant and toddler products.
Based on the report’s findings, the organization advises consumers to eat a well-balanced diet to avoid excess of any particular food and vary grains consumed.
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