A study has been published in the journal of the European Society for Pediatric Gastroeneterology, Hepatology and Nutrition which underlines the potential health risk associated with consuming rice, especially if young children are exposed to it.
Inorganic arsenic in rice and rice based foods is prevalent in amounts high enough to be a health concern. The content is currently not regulated in either the U.S. or Europe and the level of inorganic arsenic found in rice depends on type of rice and where it was grown.
Considerable concern has been raised relating to the exposure of young children to inorganic rice as rice and rice products are commonly added to infant food and drinks.
“Inorganic arsenic is considered a first level carcinogen and its long-term exposure has negative effects on human health,” said Dr Iva Hojsak of University Children’s Hospital Zagreb, Croatia, lead author of the Committee report.
The ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition urges regulation of the inorganic arsenic content of dietary products used by infants and children. Their recommendations state that rice-based formulas “are an option” for infants allergic to cow’s milk, but the arsenic content of these products should be declared and considered by doctors and parents.
Arsenic in Rice – A Cause for Concern. A Comment by the ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition: doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000000502