Rice is an inexpensive food staple featured in many daily diets. In fact, according to myplate.gov and the all to popular “food pyramid,” individuals (on average) should consume 6 oz. of grains, which include brown rice.

However, this could change. Consumer Reports, a major consumer magazine has released a report stating that rice eaten just once a day can drive arsenic levels in the human body up to 44 percent. Rice eaten twice a day can lead to a 70 percent increase in arsenic.

Inorganic Arsenic is a considered a level once carcinogen, linked to lung and bladder cancer.

 Which Rice Products Have More Arsenic in Them?

Shockingly, when it comes to arsenic, brown rice contains more of the carcinogen in the outer layers of the grain. White rice, a less nutritional form of rice, is polished removing some of the layer of grain.

Researchers tested over 60 rice and rice products, including name brands. They also found geographical distinction, with white rice grown in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Texas containing the highest levels. Those four states account for 76 percent of domestic rice produced.

Rice contains more arsenic than other grains experts say because it is grown while submerged in water. Arsenic does appear naturally in the earth, but Consumer Reports say levels have been increased by use of arsenic-laced fertilizer.

Arsenic in Rice not a Health Threat According to FDA

The FDA commissioner, Margaret Hamburg, stated that the FDA is investigating the matter, however, “based on available data and the scientific literature,” the FDA sees no immediate health threat.

Consumer Reports recommends limiting your intake to 1 serving per day and rinsing and boiling the rice in a 6 to 1 water ratio, which removes about 30% of its arsenic. Also, children under the age of 5 should not be given rice drinks as part of their daily diet.

Entities, such as Gerber (who claims to “exclusively use California rice, which has the lowest naturally occurring arsenic levels for rice grown in the US”) and the USA Rice Federation do not dispute the findings, but maintain that rice is still safe to consume.

"We [are] essentially are doing a lot of things to ourselves that deliberately introduce arsenic into food supply," Urvashi Rangan, director of consumer safety an sustainability at Consumer Reports said.

What do you think?

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