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Arsenic in Rice : First results from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration


Inorganic arsenic is classified as cancerogen and human exposure through dinking water and the food should be avoided or at least minimized. The Food and Drug Administration says that long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic is associated with higher rates of skin cancer, bladder cancer and lung cancer, as well as heart disease. Long-term exposure to low doses of arsenic may change the way cells communicate, and reduce their ability to function, according to researchers at Dartmouth University. Inorganic arsenic is also suspected to play play a role in the development of diabetes, vascular disease and lung disease.
Rice: An important food source
sometines contaminated by arsenic

Up to now no federal limit has been set for the amount of arsenic in foods and also such limit has not been established in Europe. Consumer Reports expressed concerns last year regarding arsenic levels in juice and rice-based baby foods. While most crops don’t readily take up much arsenic from the ground, rice is different because it takes up arsenic from soil and water of the paddy fields more readily than other grains.

FDA study of rice:
The FDA has collected and tested rice for total arsenic for about 20 years.  On September 19, 2012, the FDA released the first analytical results of nearly 200 samples of rice and rice products tested for both total and different arsenic species including inorganic arsenic. The preliminary analysis includes information about arsenic speciation in various brands of rice, Basmati rice, brown rice, rice cereals (puffed, non-puffed, hot cereal and infant cereals), rice cakes and rice milk. The results show the average levels of inorganic arsenic in the products vary from 27 to 247 ppb (1.2 to 11.1 micrograms per serving). The FDA says it does not have enough information yet to make any recommendations on whether consumers should change their diets to curb rice consumption. For now, the agency recommends people vary their diet. FDA announced that it is collecting and analyzing more than 1,000 additional rice and rice product samples. Once FDA has completed its analysis of rice products, the agency will analyze these results and determine whether or not to issue additional recommendations., and will post additional data as results become available.

Source: FDA

Related Information

U.S. FDA: Arsenic
U.S. FDA: Arsenic in Rice
U.S. FDA: Questions & Answers: FDA’s Analysis of Arsenic in Rice and Rice Products
U.S. FDA: Full Analytical Results from Rice/Rice Product Sampling - September 2012

Related studies

Francisco Burló, Amanda Ramírez-Gandolfo, Antonio J. Signes-Pastor, Parvez I. Haris, Angel A. Carbonell-Barrachina, Arsenic Contents in Spanish Infant Rice, Pureed Infant Foods, and Rice, J. Food Sci., 71/1 (2012) T15-T19. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02502.x

Johann M.R. Antoine, Leslie A. Hoo Fung, Charles N. Grant, Haile T. Dennis, Gerald C. Lalor, Dietary intake of minerals and trace elements in rice on the Jamaican market, J. Food Composition Anal., 26 (2012) 111–121. doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2012.01.003

Mireia Fontcuberta, Josep Calderon, Joan R. Villalbí, Francesc Centrich, Samuel Portaña, Albert Espelt, Julia Duran, Manel Nebot, Total and Inorganic Arsenic in Marketed Food and Associated Health Risks for the Catalan (Spain) Population, J. Agric. Food Chem. 2011, 59, 10013–10022. doi: 10.1021/jf2013502

Eureka E. Adomako, Paul N. Williams, Claire Deacon, Andrew A. Meharg, Inorganic arsenic and trace elements in Ghanaian grain staples, Environ. Poll., 159 (2011) 2435-2442. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2011.06.031

Gang Li, Guo-Xin Sun, Paul N. Williams, Luis Nunes, Yong-Guan Zhu, Inorganic arsenic in Chinese food and its cancer risk, Environ. Inter.. 37 (2011) 1219–1225. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2011.05.007

Yangrong Fu, Mulong Chen, Xiangyang Bi, Yusheng He, Limin Ren, Wu Xiang, Shengying Qiao, Sen Yan, Zhonggen Li, Zhendong Ma, Occurrence of arsenic in brown rice and its relationship to soil properties from Hainan Island, China, Environ. Poll., 159 (2011) 1757-1762. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2011.04.018

Feng Liang, Yulan Li, Guilin Zhang, Mingguang Tan, Jun Lin, Wei Liu, Yan Li, Wenwei Lu, Total and speciated arsenic levels in rice from China, Food Addit. Contam. Part A, 27/6 (2010) 810-816. DOI: 10.1080/19440041003636661

D.T. Heitkemper, K.M. Kubachka, P.R. Halpin, M.N. Allen, N.V. Shockey, Survey of total arsenic and arsenic speciation in US-produced rice as a reference point for evaluating change and future trends, Food Addit. Contam. Part B, 2/2 (2009) 112-120. doi: 10.1080/02652030903148298

Andrew A. Meharg, Paul N. Williams, Eureka Adomako, Youssef Y. Lawgali, Claire Deacon, Antia Villada, Robert C. J. Cambell, Guoxin Sun, Yong-Guan Zhu, Joerg Feldmann, Andrea Raab, Fang-Jie Zhao, Rafiqul Islam, Shahid Hossain, and Junta Yanai, Geographical Variation in Total and Inorganic Arsenic Content of Polished (White) Rice, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2009, 43 (5), 1612-1617. DOI: 10.1021/es802612a

Eureka E. Adomako, A.R.M. Solaiman, Paul N. Williams, Claire Deacon,
G.K.M.M. Rahman, Andrew A. Meharg, Enhanced transfer of arsenic to grain for Bangladesh grown rice compared to US and EU, Environ. Int., 35 (2009) 476–479. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2008.07.010

Guo-Xin Sun, Paul N. Williams, Yong-Guan Zhu, Claire Deacon, Anne-Marie Carey, Andrea Raab, Joerg Feldmann, Andrew A. Meharg, Survey of arsenic and its speciation in rice products such as breakfast cereals, rice crackers and Japanese rice condiments, Environ. Int., 35 (2009) 473–475. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2008.07.020

Guo-Xin Sun, Paul N. Williams, Anne-Marie Carey, Yong-Guan Zhu, Claire Deacon, Andrea Raab, Joerg Feldmann, Rafiqul M. Islam, Andrew A. Meharg, Inorganic Arsenic in Rice Bran and Its Products Are an Order of Magnitude Higher than in Bulk Grain, Environ. Sci. Technol. 2008, 42, 7542–7546. doi: 10.1021/es801238p

Yamily J. Zavala, Russell Gerads, Hakan Gürleyük, John M. Duxbury, Arsenic in Rice: II. Arsenic Speciation in USA Grain and Implications for Human Health, Environ. Sci. Technol. 2008, 42, 3861–3866. doi: 10.1021/es702748q

Andrew A. Meharg, Guoxin Sun, Paul N. Williams, Eureka Adomako, Claire Deacon, Yong-Guan Zhu, Joerg Feldmann, Andrea Raab, Inorganic arsenic levels in baby rice are of concern, Environ. Poll., 152 (2008) 746-749. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2008.01.043

Related EVISA Resources

Link Database: Human exposure to arsenic from the diet
Link Database: Analytical Methods for Arsenic Speciation Analysis
Link Database: Toxicity of inorganic Arsenic
Link Page: All about food science
Brief Summary: LC-ICP-MS: The most often used hyphenated system for speciation analysis
Material Database: Materials for Arsenic speciation analysis

Related EVISA News

January 19, 2012: Detecting Toxic Arsenic Species in Apple Juice
June 10, 2011: U.S. sales of widely used drug "Roxarsone" for chickens to be suspended
January 4, 2011: Arsenic species in rice: Call for analytical laboratories
August 2, 2010: Gut bacteria transform inorganic arsenate leading to more toxic arsenic species
May 19, 2010: China: Inorganic Arsenic in Rice - An Underestimated Health Threat ?
February 23, 2010: US EPA opens inorganic arsenic cancer assessment for public review
December 4, 2009: EFSA: Scientific Opinion on Arsenic in Food
May 26, 2009: UK Food Standards Agency releases research on arsenic in rice milk
January 31, 2009: Using the right recipe for cooking rice reduces toxic inorganic arsenic content
December 4, 2008: High level of inorganic arsenic in blue mussels from Norwegian Fjords
November 11, 2008: EFSA calls for data on arsenic levels in food and water
September 5, 2008: Exposure to inorganic arsenic may increase diabetes risk
August 8, 2008: Arsenolipids in Fish Oil
March 15, 2008: Arsenic in rice milk exceeds EU and US drinking water standards
February 15, 2008: Arsenic speciation in rice: a question of the rice plant species
January 31, 2008: New arsenic species detected in carrot samples
December 26, 2007: The effect of thermal treatment on the arsenic speciation in food
March 7, 2007: Elevated Arsenic Levels Found In Rice Grown In South Central States of the USA
September 7, 2006: Toxic inorganic arsenic species found in Japanese seaweed food
April 6, 2006: Testing finds: Arsenic added to feedstuff finds its way into chicken meat
October 6, 2005: Two new Thio-Arsenosugars found in Scallops
August 3, 2005: Surprisingly high concentrations of toxic arsenic species found in U.S. rice
May 15, 2005: Use of organoarsenicals as pesticides may lead to contamination of soils and groundwater with toxic arsenic species
April 27, 2005: Conflict raised in chicken arsenic debate

last time modified: November 11, 2013

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2013--1-1-  ZaidaSchuhmacher

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