Rise in the arsenic levels is not to be worried, says Food and Drug Administration to consumers, but cautioned to vary the diets just in case.
A study released by the agency based on 1,300 samples of rice and its products shows varying levels of arsenic. It is highest in brown rice and least in instant rice. It is also revealed the level is of low end in infant cereal and infant rice formulas.
FDA says the rice is safe to eat as there has been no sign of any short-term adverse health effects. However, the agency mentioned of still studying the long-term effects of it.
Recently consumer groups had raised concerns putting pressure on the agency to set arsenic standard in rice and rice products. It is believed rice contains arsenic in higher levels than other foods and food products as it is grown in ground water in which arsenic contamination can be absorbed.
Arsenic is naturally found in two forms in water, soil, food and air – organic and inorganic. The organic ones are harmless but the other form can be toxic and may also lead to cancer if consumed over a long period.
FDA is studying the effects of arsenic in short-term and long-run on human body and will be conducting a risk assessment to further measure the effects. The assessment will be conducted with the help of Environmental Protection Agency and National Institutes of Health.
In the released study FDA showed arsenic level ranged from 2.6 to 7.2 micrograms per serving, which is a very little amount as it is one-millionth of a gram.