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FDA warns about arsenic levels in rice cereal

Posted at 3:57 PM, Apr 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-07 15:57:59-04

(KSAT/WXMI) – The FDA is proposing new limits on a new type of arsenic that is found in infant rice cereal.

The FDA reported that 53 percent of rice cereal tested had too much of the naturally organic substance called inorganic arsenic.  The chemical has been found to cause developmental delays.

Many babies are fed rice cereal as a “starter” food.  The FDA recommends parents feed their babies other iron-fortified cereal with barley, oats and multigrains and not rely just on rice cereal.

Because of a baby’s body weight, they’ll consume three times more rice than adults. Most of that rice is consumed through cereal when a baby is around eight months old.

“What  we know is that the that arsenic can cause neurodevelopmental changes, but that’s again at high exposures, at high levels,” said Susan Mayne with the FDA. “What we are taking today is a prudent step; it’s a way that we can reduce exposure to arsenic.”

Adults can also be overexposed to arsenic if they eat large amounts of rice. The FDA said rice should be just one part of a well-balanced diet.