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Organic Rice Syrup Could Contain Arsenic

If you thought high-fructose corn syrup was bad, a rice-based alternative could be even worse.

rice macro

Photo: Yamanaka Tamaki (Flickr)

Just because something is labeled 'organic' or 'natural' doesn't necessarily mean it's not poisonous.

Unhealthy Substitute

For those trying to avoid high-fructose corn syrup, there’s a new scare — arsenic.

A Dartmouth College study has found many food products containing organic brown rice syrup — a natural alternative to corn syrup — contained elevated levels of the toxic element.

Rice uptakes arsenic from soil contaminated with bad ground water.

While there is currently no regulation for how much arsenic is allowed in food, there are laws stipulating acceptable concentrations for drinking water.

Bad For The Baby

Two baby formulas tested, for example, had 6 times the legal limit for drinking water. Other ‘organic’ energy bars and endurance drinks were also found to have higher levels.

Lead researcher Brian Jackson cautions parents to avoid infant formula containing rice syrup until foodborne arsenic is better monitored.

Read More:

  • Rice-sweetened baby formula may contain arsenic: U.S. study (Reuters)
  • Arsenic Might Be Found in Some Organic Foods: Study (MSNBC)
  • PDF: Inorganic Arsenic (EPA)

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