Three quarters of rice products sold as baby food found to contain illegal levels of arsenic

Parents should avoid giving rice to young children, scientists have said, after a new study found almost three quarters of rice-based products sold as baby food contain illegal levels of arsenic.

A maximum level of arsenic allowed in rice used for baby food was introduced by the EU in January 2016 to reduce children’s exposure to the harmful
toxin. But when researchers at Queen’s University Belfast tested 73 different rice-based products often given to babies, they found almost 80 per cent of rice crackers, 61 per cent of baby rice and 32 per cent of rice cereals flouted these regulations.

Inorganic arsenic contaminates rice while it is growing as a result of industrial toxins and pesticides and can impact the development of young children, Andy Meharg, who led the study, told The Independent.

“We’re talking about immune development, growth, IQ. They’re all impacted at the levels of consumption you’d get from rice consumption,” he said. “I’m not scaremongering. EU laws have been passed, and what we’re doing is saying these laws aren’t being met.”

Source - Independent

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