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FDA finalizes AAP-supported limit on inorganic arsenic in rice cereals :

August 5, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finalized limits on inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereals.

Inorganic arsenic has been linked to cancer and neurodevelopmental effects. The FDA said its limit, 100 micrograms per kilogram or 100 parts per billion (ppb), “protects public health by reducing infants’ dietary exposure to inorganic arsenic and is achievable by industry.” The limit was proposed in 2016 and supported by the AAP.

The FDA said arsenic levels in rice cereals have dropped in recent years. Testing in 2018 found 76% of samples at or below 100 ppb compared with 47% in 2014.

Arsenic is especially concerning for infants because they consume about three times more rice than adults relative to their body weight, according to the FDA. The AAP recommends further reducing infants’ exposure by breastfeeding, eating a variety of foods, limiting fruit juices, avoiding brown rice syrup and not using rice milk as a substitute for cow’s milk. Pregnant women also should eat a variety of grains.

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