Denmark warns against rice for children

May 15, 2013

Denmark's Veterinary and Food Administration said Wednesday that parents should stop giving their children rice cakes and rice milk, saying the products contained unacceptable levels of inorganic arsenic.

The food safety authority said inorganic arsenic, a known human carcinogen, is naturally found in rice.

"People who eat foods with inorganic arsenic every day have an increased risk of ," the authority said in a news release published on its website.

It added that parents should be "particularly careful" in relation to children due to their high intake relative to their body weight.

"Avoid rice drink and rice milk for children," the authority said in recommendations on rice products, adding that children should not be served rice-based hot every day.

It added that it had already begun new tests of other rice products to determine contents of inorganic arsenic, including products such as rice-based breakfast products and rice noodles. Analyses of these products were expected to be made public in July, the authority said.

In November 2012, US-based tested 200 different rice products finding both organic arsenic and "significant levels" of in almost all products. The organisation called for US federal standards to be introduced for arsenic in foodstuffs.

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