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sweetener used in powdered baby formula and some organic and gluten-free foods may contain dangerously high levels of arsenic, researchers reported today.
Environmental chemist Brian P. Jackson, who is the director of the Trace Element Analysis Core Facility at Dartmouth University, said that his team found organic baby formula whose main ingredient was brown rice syrup had arsenic levels six times higher than what the EPA considers safe for drinking water. According to the study, which was published Thursday in the journal "Environmental Health Perspectives," the researchers also found high arsenic levels in some organic foods sweetened with brown rice syrup, including cereal bars, energy bars, and gel energy "shots" that athletes slurp down after working out.
"The baby formula findings are concerning," Jackson said. The risk of arsenic poisoning from eating a cereal bar or an energy shot once in a while are low, he pointed out, but for babies and for people who are on gluten-free diets, arsenic poisoning could be a concern
I thought that this brown rice syrup was found mainly in organic foods.. I got the impression that this finding was a surprise to everybody. It doesn't sound like "big corporations" were "allowing" anything.
...It's really sad that stuff like this goes on and big corporations allow it all to make a penny...
Research conducted by Andrew Mehanrg and colleagues from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland has found that rice grown in the U.S. contains from 1.4 to 5 times more arsenic than rice from Europe, India or Bangladesh. However, the U.S. rice contains less of the most toxic species of arsenic than the rice tested from other nations.
U.S. long grain rice had the highest mean arsenic levels at 0.26Î¼g/g with the highest concentration at 0.4 Î¼g/g. Indian rice had the least arsenic at 0.05Î¼g/g. Rice from Bangladesh contained the same amount of arsenic as rice from Europe at 0.15 Î¼g/g.
Despite U.S. rice containing the highest concentrations of arsenic, it is difficult to evaluate the possible toxicity of the rice that was tested because inorganic arsenic is five to ten times more toxic than organic arsenic. In the U.S. rice, only 42% of the arsenic was inorganic compared to 81% in the Indian rice, 80% in the Bangladeshi and 64% in European rice. But, as the authors point out, organic arsenic can still cause health problems.