Urge FDA to Set Limits for Arsenic in Rice

Target: Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Goal: Set limits for arsenic in rice

A study at Dartmouth College in 2012 found that cancer-causing arsenic was prominent in various types of rice and rice products.  Out of these, products with organic brown rice syrup contained more arsenic than those without, toddler formulas and cereal bars being the most heavily affected.

Inorganic arsenic is contained in soil that was once treated with arsenic pesticides or that is near industrial areas or contaminated water.  It is known to be associated with decreased fertility, birth defects, and developmental issues in children, as well as lung, skin, and bladder cancer.  It is also thought to increase risk of diabetes and hypertension.

Although the federal limit for arsenic in water is 10 parts per billion, there is no limit for most foods, including rice.  Setting arsenic levels for rice should be a top concern as it is a staple for many families and many children have rice cereal for breakfast or Rice Krispies as a snack.  Even if one does not eat rice, rice derivatives may find their way into processed foods like energy drinks or snack bars.

By signing this petition you will help urge the FDA to set limits for arsenic in rice so consumers may enjoy this nutritious grain without suffering from side effects later in life.


Dear Ms. Hamburg,

Studies in the past few years have found unsettling amounts of inorganic arsenic in rice and rice products.  Of these, the most heavily affected products are toddler formulas and cereal bars.

Arsenic can cause a variety of serious health problems, including lung, skin, and bladder cancer, as well as diabetes and hypertension.  It also affects young children in the form of birth defects and developmental problems.

Maintaining the safety of rice consumption is extremely important because rice is a staple in many families’ diets.  Even those who don’t eat rice are taking in derivatives from rice through processed foods such as energy drinks or snack bars.

We urge you to set a standard for the amount of arsenic that can be found in rice so that we can continue to enjoy rice and products that contain rice while living healthy, strong lives.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credits: IRRI Images via Flickr

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103 Signatures

  • Hermann Kastner
  • James Thrailkill
  • Mal Gaff
  • Holly Hall
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Nancy Petersen
  • Alexander Dolowitz
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