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New Study On Rice And Arsenic Poisoning


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#1 splitinheadache

 
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Posted 26 April 2007 - 03:28 PM

I usually am just a "lurker" here (and I must say, I've gotten invaluable info from this site) but I just came across this article regarding arsenic levels and rice:

http://www.scienceda...70305092336.htm


Source: American Chemical Society
Date: March 5, 2007
More on:
Agriculture and Food, Hazardous Waste, Oceanography, Food, Geography, Soil Types

Elevated Arsenic Levels Reported In Rice Grown In South Central States

Science Daily — The largest market basket survey of the arsenic content of rice grown in the United States has found elevated levels of arsenic in rice produced in the South Central part of the country, scientists report in an article scheduled for the April 1 issue of ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology, a semi-monthly journal.

The University of Aberdeen’s A. A. Meharg and colleagues did the study, which involved analyses of rice purchased at U. S. supermarkets. A previous study found that U. S. rice purchased in the United Kingdom had higher arsenic levels than rice grown in Europe, India or Bangladesh.

In the study, researchers compared arsenic levels in rice from the two main rice-producing areas of the country — the South Central States and California. They focused on inorganic arsenic, which the report describes as a known human carcinogen and implicated in several other diseases.

Rice grown in the South Central States had more arsenic than California rice. Rice in those states often is grown in old cotton fields that previously were treated with arsenic pesticides, the study states, adding that arsenic-tolerant strains of rice often are grown in those fields.

When researchers modeled rice intake, they concluded that certain population groups could get dietary exposure to arsenic that exceeds California’s state exposure limits. Those groups include low-income individuals who consume large amounts or rice as an inexpensive food; people with celiac disease (who eat rice as part of a gluten-free diet); Asian-Americans who consume a high-rice diet; and Hispanic infants and toddlers, who also have a diet high in rice, the study notes.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by American Chemical Society

What concens me the most, is the part at the bottom, where it talks about Celiacs being one of the populations at risk for arsenic poisoning, due to all the rice we consume.

I did a quick search here, and didn't see any discussion. Has this been brought up, and are people aware of this here? This is the first I've heard of it. If you google celiac and arsenic, you'll see it posted in other sites, as well...
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#2 Felidae

 
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Posted 27 April 2007 - 07:30 AM

If you are interested in the toxin levels in american foods; there is a really good book called, "Diet for a poisoned planet" 2nd Edition by David Steinman. I found it a very interesting read. He uses research for many of his arguments. In the 2nd edition he retested foods from the 1st edition to see if the toxin levels changed.

I would love to research and write a book like this for Canada.
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#3 splitinheadache

 
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Posted 27 April 2007 - 08:03 AM

This is really scary! We eat a lot of rice products. Our cereal, bread, cookies, pancakes, pasta all have rice in them. I'm so suprised that gluten-free folk don't seem to be as concerned. Maybe I'm overreacting, but we're probably injesting lots of arsenic if we're eating all this gluten-free stuff, as well as the plain old rice on occasion.

I'm definitely going to check out that book. But, I'm almost afraid to delve further into this. If gluten isn't good for us, and the gluten-free foods made with rice are putting arsenic into our systems, there's not too many foods left. I have 2 gluten-free children, and the rice bread, pastas, cookies have been a saving grace, but the thought of arsenic in all that scares me.

Thanks for responding, was starting to feel like I should have just stayed in lurking mode!
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#4 spunky

 
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Posted 27 April 2007 - 08:10 AM

This is really scary! We eat a lot of rice products. Our cereal, bread, cookies, pancakes, pasta all have rice in them. I'm so suprised that gluten-free folk don't seem to be as concerned. Maybe I'm overreacting, but we're probably injesting lots of arsenic if we're eating all this gluten-free stuff, as well as the plain old rice on occasion.

I'm definitely going to check out that book. But, I'm almost afraid to delve further into this. If gluten isn't good for us, and the gluten-free foods made with rice are putting arsenic into our systems, there's not too many foods left. I have 2 gluten-free children, and the rice bread, pastas, cookies have been a saving grace, but the thought of arsenic in all that scares me.

Thanks for responding, was starting to feel like I should have just stayed in lurking mode!


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#5 spunky

 
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Posted 27 April 2007 - 08:13 AM

I usually am just a "lurker" here (and I must say, I've gotten invaluable info from this site) but I just came across this article regarding arsenic levels and rice:

http://www.scienceda...70305092336.htm
Source: American Chemical Society
Date: March 5, 2007
More on:
Agriculture and Food, Hazardous Waste, Oceanography, Food, Geography, Soil Types

Elevated Arsenic Levels Reported In Rice Grown In South Central States

Science Daily — The largest market basket survey of the arsenic content of rice grown in the United States has found elevated levels of arsenic in rice produced in the South Central part of the country, scientists report in an article scheduled for the April 1 issue of ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology, a semi-monthly journal.

The University of Aberdeen’s A. A. Meharg and colleagues did the study, which involved analyses of rice purchased at U. S. supermarkets. A previous study found that U. S. rice purchased in the United Kingdom had higher arsenic levels than rice grown in Europe, India or Bangladesh.

In the study, researchers compared arsenic levels in rice from the two main rice-producing areas of the country — the South Central States and California. They focused on inorganic arsenic, which the report describes as a known human carcinogen and implicated in several other diseases.

Rice grown in the South Central States had more arsenic than California rice. Rice in those states often is grown in old cotton fields that previously were treated with arsenic pesticides, the study states, adding that arsenic-tolerant strains of rice often are grown in those fields.

When researchers modeled rice intake, they concluded that certain population groups could get dietary exposure to arsenic that exceeds California’s state exposure limits. Those groups include low-income individuals who consume large amounts or rice as an inexpensive food; people with celiac disease (who eat rice as part of a gluten-free diet); Asian-Americans who consume a high-rice diet; and Hispanic infants and toddlers, who also have a diet high in rice, the study notes.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by American Chemical Society

What concens me the most, is the part at the bottom, where it talks about Celiacs being one of the populations at risk for arsenic poisoning, due to all the rice we consume.

I did a quick search here, and didn't see any discussion. Has this been brought up, and are people aware of this here? This is the first I've heard of it. If you google celiac and arsenic, you'll see it posted in other sites, as well...

I'm having trouble using this message board anymore...it doesn't work like it used to.

Anyway, thanks for posting this...it IS very frightening. I eat tons of rice. I often buy rice noodles from China or Taiwan, rice flour from India, and rice grown in some Asian country...I used to worry that I should be getting rice from the U.S., but now I'm not so sure. I normally buy rice products from a large international market just because they are cheaper...mabye that's what I should continue doing.

Lots of packaged gluten free foods use rice flour too, and I guess we have no way of knowing where that's grown.


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#6 spunky

 
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Posted 27 April 2007 - 08:17 AM

I tried to reply twice above, but could only manage to quote the oriiginal poster...so, I'll try ONE MORE TIME...(this is getting on my nerves now)

I've been buying rice noodle products from China and other Asian countries, rice from Asian countries, and rice flour from India. I've done this only because it was cheaper to go into a local international market and get these items from other countries, than buying gluten free products from the U.S.

Now I guess I'm glad I do that, because it sounds like it's actually probably SAFER!

I am wondering about the packaged gluten free thigns I do buy from this country...I guess there's no way of knowing the source of the rice flour. Sounds like that grown in California is okay.

I agree this is very scary: I eat tons of rice these days too.
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#7 AndreaB

 
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Posted 27 April 2007 - 08:54 AM

Yes, this is scary.

I had a hair analysis done last year for mercury and it came back on the moderate side for arsenic. I do buy organic rice but I suppose that doesn't make much difference. <_<

We eat lots of rice as well as we all tolerate that well and don't do so well on other alternative grains.
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The whole family has been soy free since February, gluten free since June 2006.

The whole family went back to a gluten diet October 2011.  We never had official testing done and I decided to give gluten a go again.  At this point I've decided to work on making some gluten free things again, though healthwise everyone seems to be fine.  The decision to add gluten back in was also made based on other things I'd read about the 2nd sequence of genes.  It is my belief that we had a gluten intolerance, but thanks to things I've learned here, I know more what to keep an eye on.  If you have a confirmed case of celiac, please don't go back to gluten, it's a lifelong lifestyle change.


#8 Michi8

 
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Posted 27 April 2007 - 09:15 AM

I tried to reply twice above, but could only manage to quote the oriiginal poster...so, I'll try ONE MORE TIME...(this is getting on my nerves now)

I've been buying rice noodle products from China and other Asian countries, rice from Asian countries, and rice flour from India. I've done this only because it was cheaper to go into a local international market and get these items from other countries, than buying gluten free products from the U.S.

Now I guess I'm glad I do that, because it sounds like it's actually probably SAFER!

I am wondering about the packaged gluten free thigns I do buy from this country...I guess there's no way of knowing the source of the rice flour. Sounds like that grown in California is okay.

I agree this is very scary: I eat tons of rice these days too.


We don't know the safety of rice from other countries though. There could be arsenic or other contaminants in their products as well. For example, rice protein and wheat gluten contaminated with melamine coming from China. (http://www.boston.co...on_new_finding/)

There is potential contamination with all sorts of foods beyond rice too. Then add on air pollution, local pesticide spraying, chemicals in household goods, etc...we're getting poisoned in all sorts of ways.

Michelle
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#9 RiceGuy

 
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Posted 27 April 2007 - 09:18 AM

Though I'm glad my rice comes from California, I too am concerned because of the many other rice products we all consume. Fortunately, rice isn't the only gluten-free grain which can be used to make good breads. However, what about the levels of arsenic and whatnot in those other grains, such as sorghum, millet, corn, buckwheat, etc?
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#10 Kyalesyin

 
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Posted 27 April 2007 - 09:21 AM

Seems these days you can't eat ANYTHING.

Head, this is my desk. Desk, meet my head. I think you'll get along.

*WHACK*
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#11 Ursa Major

 
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Posted 27 April 2007 - 04:02 PM

Seems these days you can't eat ANYTHING.

Head, this is my desk. Desk, meet my head. I think you'll get along.

*WHACK*


:wacko: :lol:

It's just as well I am intolerant to rice, too, so at least I won't die from arsenic poisoning.

But yes, it sure is scary.
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#12 corinne

 
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Posted 27 April 2007 - 08:39 PM

I'm a biogeochemist and I specialize in arsenic analysis. I focus on algae, but I have done some analysis of foods including rice. Almost all foods contain some arsenic. One poster asked about other grains. All grains can contain arsenic. Plants accumulate arsenic from the soil they are grown in. I'll be doing some fieldwork in a high arsenic area this summer and it might be interesting to collect some corn from farms in the area. Drinking water also has arsenic and the levels vary depending on where you live. Seafood, particularly, shrimp, clams etc. is very high in arsenic, but this is organic arsenic. Unlike organic mercury, organic arsenic is non-toxic. The other thing to keep in mind is that arsenic does not bioaccumulate, unlike mercury. It will be found in hair, but it doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier. The main problem with inorganic arsenic is that it increases the risk of stomach and skin cancer.
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#13 NoGluGirl

 
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Posted 27 April 2007 - 10:15 PM

I'm a biogeochemist and I specialize in arsenic analysis. I focus on algae, but I have done some analysis of foods including rice. Almost all foods contain some arsenic. One poster asked about other grains. All grains can contain arsenic. Plants accumulate arsenic from the soil they are grown in. I'll be doing some fieldwork in a high arsenic area this summer and it might be interesting to collect some corn from farms in the area. Drinking water also has arsenic and the levels vary depending on where you live. Seafood, particularly, shrimp, clams etc. is very high in arsenic, but this is organic arsenic. Unlike organic mercury, organic arsenic is non-toxic. The other thing to keep in mind is that arsenic does not bioaccumulate, unlike mercury. It will be found in hair, but it doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier. The main problem with inorganic arsenic is that it increases the risk of stomach and skin cancer.

Dear corinne,
This is interesting! I am glad you shared your expertise. Information such as this is not normally released to the public, although I feel it should be. It is fascinating that organic arsenic is not poisonous. Inorganic arsenic is what we need to worry about then.

I get most of my rice flour from the Chinese market. I have had them from India and China or Taiwan. I am not sure about toxins aside from the more recently exploited melamine found in the pet food. Sometimes I wonder if the only way to avoid any of these dangers is to stop eating altogether! This is scary and frustrating!

Sincerely,
NoGluGirl
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#14 gfp

 
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Posted 28 April 2007 - 01:30 AM

Dear corinne,
This is interesting! I am glad you shared your expertise. Information such as this is not normally released to the public, although I feel it should be. It is fascinating that organic arsenic is not poisonous. Inorganic arsenic is what we need to worry about then.

I get most of my rice flour from the Chinese market. I have had them from India and China or Taiwan. I am not sure about toxins aside from the more recently exploited melamine found in the pet food. Sometimes I wonder if the only way to avoid any of these dangers is to stop eating altogether! This is scary and frustrating!

Sincerely,
NoGluGirl

Its not really that the information isn't released but that its not put into an easily digestible (forgive the pun) format.
Arsenic isn't THAT poisionous .. which isn't to say its a good thing to have in food but since corinne mentioned mercury .. mercury is actually the only natural element NOT used by the human body..
Everything else we need in some tiny quantity.... including arsenic.

organic arsenic is non-toxic.

Is an example, it is toxic just not very and doesn't accumulate...
Organic uranium isn't THAT toxic either... its just a matter of perspective... uranium citrate is pretty soluble so if you are working with uranium the first thing to do is drink lots of real lemonade...
The thing is if the report mentioned elevated calcium or elevated selenium or one of countless suppliments many people take nonone would be worried but half the suppliments in a mutli vitamin and trace elements tablet are just as toxic as arsenic.

For almost any chemical or element this data is very publically available... just google MSDS then the name ... (material safety data sheet)...

As I have mentioned reasonably often the USGS has maps and data... its all public information...
You just need to know what you're looking for really.

http://water.usgs.go...pubs/fs-063-00/
http://wwwbrr.cr.usg...ic/minerals.htm
http://minerals.usgs...modity/arsenic/

Corinne.... I'm envious... you're doing what I intended to do... :D (seriously)... My geol undergrad dissertation was on trace elements in soil but I ended up in oil...
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#15 chocolatelover

 
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Posted 28 April 2007 - 04:53 AM

Thanks for that link, since we need to stay informed about things like this.

However, we should all be aware that the article that you provided a link to appears to be a heavily-edited version of the original article that came from The American Chemical Society. If you go to the American Chemical Society site, and locate the original article, it presents a much more balanced picture.

http://www.chemistry...f6a17245d830100

Arsenic appears in a natural state in quite a few countries besides the U. S. Organic arsenic is not known as a carcinogen, whereas inorganic arsenic is. The arsenic found In U. S. rice is primarily organic, whereas the arsenic found in rice from most other countries, is inorganic.

If we look hard enough, we can probably find a reason not to eat everything. ;)
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