Limit the Allowable Level of Arsenic in Rice

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Target: Food and Drug Administration

Goal: Reduce carcinogen levels in rice and rice by-products

A recent study in 2012 has revealed that alarming levels of the cancer-causing substance arsenic can be found in certain organic toddler formulas, cereal bars, and energy products. The primary ingredient in each of these products is organic brown rice syrup.

The same study found traces of arsenic in toddler formulas at 6 times the level that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers safe in water. Little research has been done to determine the effects of arsenic on developing children, but the results are quite negative regardless of who ingests it. Arsenic is found in soils that are contaminated by arsenic based pesticides, industrial districts, mining area, municipal waste, and contaminated water. Arsenic based pesticides have been banned due to its detriment to the environment and any possible consumer of it. Unfortunately, arsenic residue remains in the soil and plants such as rice that are planted in this soil absorb it.

Rice in particular is so prone to containing arsenic because of the fact that it is grown in flooded soils. This is the perfect environment for arsenic to be absorbed into the plant, whereas in most other cases it would not be. Furthermore, brown rice syrup contains the most arsenic because it is concentrated rice.

Arsenic is a human carcinogen that has been known to negatively impact fertility, as well as cause hypertension, diabetes, birth defects, and vascular disease. Those that are gluten free are even more at risk as they often consume rice more frequently than others.

Currently the FDA does not impose any limits to the levels of arsenic that are allowable in our foods. Due to the proven detriment that arsenic imposes on both humans and the environment, the FDA needs to implement a ceiling on the amount of arsenic that will be permissible in rice.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Food and Drug Association-

Due to the recent studies showing an alarming level of arsenic in rice, the FDA must create a limit on arsenic levels that will be allowable in all food. The FDA needs to enforce health and quality guidelines on the food industry. It is clearly evident that without guidelines, the food industry produces foods laced with deadly and harmful ingredients.

Without strict guidelines, rice that is accompanied with highly toxic levels of arsenic will continue to be sold on the shelves of every grocery store. The side effects of arsenic have been researched but the extent of the damage that arsenic can cause on humans and the environment is yet to be fully known. Among the side effects that are currently known, the list includes hypertension, diabetes, birth defects, and vascular disease. Fertility issues in adults as well as developmental issues in children are also associated with the exposure to arsenic. The longer rice products are allowed to be sold with extreme levels of arsenic, the longer people are being exposed to these dangers, often times unknowingly.

Unless consumers have been informed of the presence of arsenic in their rice products, many are continuing to buy these products without knowing the harm that they are doing to themselves and their families. Consumers deserve to not only know what they are purchasing and ingesting, but they also should be protected by the governing bodies that are in place such as the Food and Drug Administration.

The Food and Drug Administration has a duty and obligation to the consumers of this country to demand from the food industry the production of healthy and safe foods. There are too many innocent lives that can potentially be affected by a lack of action on the part of the FDA.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Wikipedia

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