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News Summary: FDA urged to set arsenic standards

Posted: September 19, 2012 11:26 a.m.
Updated: September 19, 2012 11:26 a.m.

Rice grows in a field near Alicia, Ark. in 2011. Consumer groups are pressuring the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to set federal guidance on allowable levels of arsenic in rice.

THE NEWS: The Food and Drug Administration may consider new standards for the levels of arsenic in rice as consumer groups call for guidance on how much of the carcinogen can be present in food.

WHAT'S OUT THERE: A Consumer Reports study found higher levels of arsenic in brown rice than white rice and higher levels in rice produced in southern U.S. states than in rice from California or Asia.

WHAT IT IS: Arsenic is naturally present in water, air, food and soil in two forms, organic and inorganic. Inorganic arsenic, found in some pesticides and insecticides, can be toxic and may pose a cancer risk if consumed at high levels or over a long period.


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