Friday, February 19, 2016
Cereal killers? More than half of rice products including Rice Krispies and Heinz baby rice exceed limits for arsenic
Cereal killers? More than half of rice products including Rice Krispies and Heinz baby rice exceed new EU limits for ARSENIC
Experts warn some popular rice products contain high levels of arsenic
Tests found 58% exceeded new recommended arsenic limits for children
Scientists say high levels over time could lead to cancer or heart disease
People in Britain consume five times more rice today than 40 years ago
New research has found that more than half of Britain's most popular rice products - including Kellogg's Rice Krispies and Smooth Baby Rice by Heinz - exceed proposed new EU limits for arsenic.
While there are low levels of arsenic in most food and water, researchers are now concerned that arsenic can reach much higher levels in rice.
Channel 4's Dispatches, Rice: How Safe is our Food? which will be broadcast on Monday night, tested 81 different products with the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen's University Belfast.
They discovered 58 per cent exceeded proposed European Union recommended limits for children, which are expected to come into force next summer.
Although there are strict limits for the amount of arsenic level allowed in water, there are currently no maximum levels in food - and now some scientists are speaking out as they are concerned about the effects of long-term exposure.
As more evidence emerges about the harm high levels of arsenic might cause, particularly to children, new maximum levels have been proposed by the European Union with the support of the Food Standards Agency.
The proposed new EU recommendations will limit 200 parts of arsenic per billion for adults and just 100 ppb for children and babies.
During the research products including Kelloggs' Rice Krispies and Kallo organic puffed rice cereal were tested multiple times - and some showed high levels of inorganic arsenic, far above the proposed limits.
Organic original puffed rice cereal by Kallo Foods was found to have 323 parts of arsenic per billion (ppb) while Organic wholegrain baby rice by Organix was found to have 268 ppb – 168 per cent above recommended levels for babies and children.
Rice Krispies by Kelloggs were found to have 188 ppb, far above the recommended levels for babies and children.
Baby organic rice cakes by Boots were found to be 162 ppb, and Organic wholegrain banana porridge by Organix at 142 ppb.