FDA efforts to reduce consumer exposure to arsenic in rice | Statement by Dr. Susan Mayne



The U.S. Food and Administration takes seriously its mandate to oversee the safety of domestic and imported foods and does this, in part, through the monitoring of contaminants in food, assessing potential exposure and risk, and taking steps to reduce consumer exposure to contaminants.

FDA experts have been testing for arsenic levels in foods for decades to learn about exposure levels and study possible health risks associated with arsenic in foods. For many years, we have partnered with other federal agencies and outside organizations to work on reducing consumer exposure to arsenic in rice and rice products.

Rice cereal is a common first food for infants, who, in proportion to their body weight, consume more rice than adults. FDA researchers found that exposure to inorganic arsenic, the more toxic form of arsenic, is associated with neurocognitive deficits in children.

In 2016, the FDA took steps to reduce exposure to inorganic arsenic from infant rice cereal.

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