FDA sets limit for inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal

Friday, 07 August, 2020

FDA sets limit for inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a final limit for inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereals, and identified its intended sampling and enforcement approach. The FDA set a limit of 100 micrograms per kilogram (µg/kg) or 100 parts per billion (ppb), which protects public health by reducing infants’ dietary exposure to inorganic arsenic.

FDA testing of infant rice cereals over the last decade suggests that manufacturers are already making progress towards reaching this action level by selective sourcing and testing of rice and rice-derived ingredients (for example, rice flour) to ensure lower levels of inorganic arsenic. Results from sampling in 2018 showed that 76% of samples were at or below the 100 ppb level, compared to 47% of samples testing in 2014 and 36% of samples tested from 2011–2013.

Dr Susan Mayne, Director of the FDA’s Centre for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said the FDA guidance is designed to help protect public health by reducing infants’ exposure to inorganic arsenic, which has been associated with neurodevelopmental effects. Dr Mayne said the agency’s data shows that most products on the market are below this level, and that parents and caregivers should know that a well-balanced diet also includes a variety of grains, like oats and barley.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Syda Productions

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