Today, Congressman Rick Crawford, co-chair of the Congressional Rice Caucus, released the following statement about the Consumer Reports article on arsenic levels in rice:
"Rice farmers in my district and across the country take great pride in producing a safe, affordable and nutritious product for consumers. Reports of arsenic levels in rice may sound upsetting but it is important to have all the facts. Arsenic is a naturally occurring element in our air, water, rice and soil. It has always been in the food supply and it occurs naturally in many healthy foods. No arsenical pesticides are used when growing rice in the United States."
"Since 1991, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been testing for arsenic in a variety of foods, including rice and juices. It takes a science-based and risk-based approach in order to minimize risks in the food supply from contaminants. After looking at the actual research, the FDA said there is not enough scientific data to show a relationship between those who consume higher levels of rice and rice products and the type of illnesses associated with arsenic. The FDA testing produced the same results as Consumer Reports, but the evidence is not conclusive enough to make recommendations for changing diets."
"American rice farmers are working with the FDA and other federal agencies to ensure quality standards. I believe American-grown rice is already safe, and I will continue serving American-grown rice to my family. I commend rice producers in our country for taking even more steps to prove the safety and quality of their product."