Well-known rice products found in grocery stores all over the world can be harmful to young children. A new study has revealed excessive levels of a carcinogenic substance in some popular favorites and is issuing a warning to parents. Adults who are large consumers of rice and eat it more than seven times a week should also consider cutting down on their intake.
After examining 102 commercial rice products, the National Food Agency in Sweden found levels of the carcinogen arsenic in some cases too high, reported local media.
The food safety organization reviewed its dietary recommendations on rice, advising that children should not eat rice or rice products such as rice porridge, rice noodles, or breakfast cereal made of puffed rice, such as Rice Crispies, more than four times a week. Children should completely avoid rice cakes.
Emma Halldin Ankarberg, a toxicologist at the NFA explains: “We already knew that rice contains arsenic. What we know now is that some products on the market contain fairly high levels of it. Among other things, we have now advised against children under six eating rice cakes. For everyone else, rice cakes are fine in moderation, but it depends on the amount of rice products consumed overall”.
Adults who are large consumers of rice and eat it more than seven times a week should also consider cutting down on their intake.
According to this study popular rice products, like Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, Boots Baby organic rice cakes and Organix First Wholegrain Baby Rice were among those products found to have levels above safety limits.
ARSENIC AND RICE
Arsenic is a carcinogen which after chronic exposure could yield tumors in the skin, lung, bladder, possibly also the liver, kidney and prostate. Chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic can also cause several other health problems such as cardiovascular disease, liver damage, chronic cough, diabetes and neurological effects, especially in children.