Arsenic found in infant rice cereal

May 1, 2008

Researchers say one-third of infant rice cereal in Britain contains unsafe levels of arsenic.

Environmental chemist Andrew Meharg of Aberdeen University in Scotland and colleagues tested 17 samples of baby rice from three British supermarkets, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday. He said high levels of arsenic were also found in rice products such as rice milk and puffed rice cereal.

"I don't want to give out nutritional advice to the public, but as a parent I would try to reduce my baby's exposure to any contamination," he said.

A Food Standard Agency spokesperson said surveys show arsenic levels in infant foods are "as low as reasonably practicable" but said the agency would continue to monitor the situation.

The newspaper said the current standard for arsenic was set in 1959 before arsenic was recognized as a carcinogen.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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