Understanding Arsenic in Food
If you are concerned about arsenic in food, you are not alone- understanding arsenic is a concern of the worldwide food producing community. Over the last couple of years, members of that community have been working towards understanding arsenic in food through multidisciplinary expertise, shared resources and collaborative efforts. Although dietary arsenic exposure poses no immediate health risks, more information is needed to understand the effects of long-term exposure to trace levels of this naturally occurring element. Partners in the food producing community are working toward providing transparent and valid information to the public, and Lundberg Family Farms is committed to sharing current information with you, our valued consumer. Our primary concern at Lundberg Family Farms is your health and safety. As we discover more information, we will share our findings so that you can make healthy and informed decisions about your food.
In September 2012, Consumer Reports published an article titled “Arsenic in Your Food”. While we are still evaluating this information, click here for our preliminary thoughts on the report.
In March 2012, Codex (the food safety agency of the World Health Organization) met to discuss data that was available from worldwide sources. They reviewed analytical methods and currently known practices that can minimize arsenic uptake in rice. Codex announced 2015 as the target date for presenting the established limits of arsenic in food.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has been monitoring the levels of arsenic in food for over 20 years, has released their first analytical results on arsenic levels in rice and rice products, posted on September 19. Based on the available data and scientific literature, FDA is not recommending changes by consumers regarding their consumption of rice and rice products. Eating a balanced and diversified diet that includes a variety of grains in order to ensure good nutrition is FDA’s current advice for consumers.
The US FDA collected and analyzed more than 1000 samples to better understand the exposure to arsenic in food and conduct a full health risk analysis. If deemed necessary, the FDA will use this data to establish standards for acceptable levels of arsenic in food. Based on current research, FDA states there is an absence of adequate scientific data to demonstrate causal relationship between rice and rice product consumption and the types of illness typically associated with arsenic. To learn more about what the FDA is saying on this issue, and what their most recent finding are, click here.
Lundberg Family Farms is working with other companies who produce organic rice and organic rice products to address the issue of arsenic in rice. We believe a collaborative approach with growers, processors, trade associations, regulators and academic institutions is the best way to understand and address the concerns raised regarding arsenic in food. If you are interested in what others are saying, you can click on the links below to read their comments.
Page last updated: 1/24/13