Third of UKs baby rice has unsafe levels of arsenic

April 30th, 2008 - 1:54 pm ICT by admin  

London, Apr 30 (ANI): A third of the baby rice sold in UK supermarkets contains unsafe levels of inorganic arsenic warn researchers from Aberdeen University.

The finding could mean that some kids could be getting as much as six times the amount they would need depending on their weight and height.

As a part of their research, Prof Andrew Meharg and colleagues tested 17 samples from three unnamed brands of baby rice.

Based on this, he said that there was a need to re-examine the arsenic regulations in food, especially as the existing standard was set in 1959 - before arsenic was recognised as a carcinogen.

The current standard also does not apply to inorganic arsenic, the most toxic form of the chemical element.

“We are talking about a carcinogen that could be reduced in baby foods. Thirty-five per cent of the baby food we analysed had levels of inorganic arsenic that would make them illegal in China. Our regulations are totally outdated and need to be re-visited,” the Telegraph quoted him, as saying.

A spokesman for the Food Standards Agency of the UK however, said that there was no cause for concern.

“We will be monitoring the situation and looking at data as it emerges. We also intend to raise the subject with the European Commission,” the spokesman said.

“The FSA has conducted a number of surveys of arsenic in weaning foods and formulae. These show that the low intakes of arsenic from infant foods have not increased, indicating that they are as low as reasonably practicable. The measured levels do not raise concerns for the health of infants,” he added. (ANI)

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