Arsenic in Rice
We’ve been closely following the issue of arsenic in rice and we are concerned about the results of the latest Consumer Reports study, particularly their test results for our 365 Everyday Value products. Since rice is a commodity product in which varieties are grown in different areas in the US and the world under varying conditions, there can be wide ranges in inorganic and organic arsenic levels. Although government agencies have worked to phase it out, the fact remains that after many decades, the widespread use of arsenic-containing pesticides and herbicides in agriculture have made arsenic pervasive in farmland to this day.
There is no set government standard limiting arsenic in food at this time. Until there are guidelines, we will meanwhile:
Continue to study the issue and collaborate with our supplier partners to ensure the quality of our private label rice products, including additional testing.
Look into the initial results from the Consumer Reports study regarding growing areas that may have lower levels of arsenic for our sourcing purposes.
Help inform our shoppers about arsenic in rice products via in-store and online channels, and remind them of the importance of eating a balanced and diversified diet that includes a variety of grains to ensure overall good nutrition, all of which are recommended by the FDA.
We are committed to food safety and to food safety education so we applaud Consumer Reports for conducting their study. We also support the FDA’s effort to conduct a thorough and scientific-based health risk assessment regarding arsenic in food, with hope they it will lead to the development of standards, which would be helpful for consumers and producers alike.