Recent media stories based on studies about high levels of arsenic in rice are misleading the public about this issue, and the USA Rice Federation issued a statement addressing concerns about arsenic and rice. Because arsenic is ubiquitous and present in air, soil, water, and foods, dietary exposure to arsenic comes from a variety of different sources, including fruits, fruit juice, vegetables and other grains. There currently are no standards or limits for arsenic in food.
The most recent study of rice to receive widespread media attention focused on organic brown rice syrup. Sources in the U.S. rice syrup industry have indicated that organic brown rice syrup is not widely used in U.S. food products. USA Rice is working with federal agencies as they examine the levels of total arsenic in rice. U.S. government officials responsible for food safety regularly test food products to ensure consumer safety. USA Rice and its members are committed to consumer food safety and the safety of U.S.-grown rice remains a top priority for the U.S. rice industry.
Background levels of arsenic in rice or rice products have not been associated with health effects, unlike much higher levels of arsenic in drinking water. There are no scientific studies that have linked U.S. rice consumption to adverse health effects, nor have arsenic-related health effects been reported among populations with high rice consumption.