Many news outlets are talking about arsenic levels found in rice and rice products because of an article in the latest issue of Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports is recommending that the government set a limit on how much arsenic can be in food.
The federal limit for inorganic arsenic in water is 10 parts per billion, but there is no limit for food products. New Jersey has a limit of 5 parts per billion for water, which is the most conservative in the country, but also what’s recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Consumer Reports tested a variety of rice and rice products for the amount of inorganic arsenic per serving and found many that were higher than New Jersey’s standards, but not the federal limit.
Should you be concerned?
Arsenic is a metal that occurs naturally in the earth and is found in small amounts in some food and water. Unless you are eating a lot of foods that are high in arsenic, you should not be concerned. A good way to limit your amount of arsenic is to eat wide variety of fruits, vegetables and grains.
In Northern New England, a larger concern is arsenic in well water. If you have a well, get it tested for arsenic.
To learn more, visit our arsenic page.