Arsenic in Rice

A new finding reveals that rice grown in the US contains arsenic at levels well exceeding EPA standards that are applied for drinking water. The EPA limits level of arsenic in drinking water to 10ppb. But tests show rice grown in the USA to contain on average 95ppb, and ranges from 24 to 214 ppb according to Consumer Reports.

Rice grown in the United States contains an average of 1.4 to 5 times more arsenic than rice from Europe, India and Bangladesh
– Nature

Brown rice has more arsenic than white rice, sometimes even 50% more. The same goes for even organic rice, and derivatives such as brown rice syrup, and products which contain it (baby food, cereals, rice pasta, etc).

Why does rice grown in the USA have so much arsenic? This is because much of the rice paddy in the US were former cotton plantations, where extensive amounts of arsenic based pesticides were used, along with the fact that arsenic does not biodegrade easily.

Here’s the Consumer Reports results from testing of rice in the USA. And here are statements from two popular brands I buy from (apart from bulk rice I buy from Indian grocery store): Lotus Foods and Lundberg Family Farms.




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