February 17, 2012
Infants at Risk from Arsenic Levels in Baby Formulas
Think organic is the only way to get your food? You will want to read this article in WebMD and maybe revise your thinking for some organic products. I know I am changing my purchases until the Food and Drug issues their report on the arsenic levels in some organic products.
Presently there are no regulations governing the arsenic (As) levels in food or food products. Arsenic levels in water is regulated and many of the foods tested were three to five times higher in arsenic levels than is allowed in water.
A study, which is published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives states that researchers analyzed arsenic levels in 17 different brands of formula made for infants and toddlers. They also tested 29 energy bars and 3 energy gels, which are portable sources of carbohydrates often used by endurance athletes.
They also tested three organic brown rice syrups that are sold in natural or organic sections of some supermarkets and in many health food stores. Some people use brown rice syrup as a sweetener substitute for sugar or corn syrup in baked goods.
The researchers stated that products that did not list rice or rice syrups as the top ingredients were all low in arsenic. They also stated that rice syrups themselves and products listing rice or rice syrups as one of the first five ingredients, all contained high arsenic levels. Most of the arsenic found in the energy bars or gels was the inorganic arsenic believed to be the most toxic.
Rice products are now being tested for arsenic levels as is some juices after recent tests turned up high levels in some apple juice brands. The big concern is the levels for infants because of the relative exposure based on body size. Hopefully, FDA will have guidance published in the near future.
Please take time to read the WebMD article. Then read the abstract here. If you are still interested in reading more, on the abstract page in the upper right corner you may print a copy of the full study, or download a PDF file to read the full details of the study.