Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Senior Democrat on the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health, released the following statement in response to a Consumer Reports' investigation that found concerning levels of inorganic arsenic, a known human carcinogen, in more than 60 rice and rice products:
"I was concerned by a recent Consumer Reports investigation that found varying, but measurable amounts of arsenic in a range of rice products, including infant cereals, ready-to-eat cereals, rice crackers and rice flour. This is unacceptable and presents a threat to public health. Inorganic arsenic is a known carcinogen that can cause bladder, lung and skin cancer.
"I recognize and applaud the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their efforts to collect and analyze data on arsenic levels in rice and rice products, the results of which were released today. While the FDA's process is ongoing, and they have yet to issue recommendations on consumer consumption, I believe there should be a federal arsenic standard for these products like there is for bottled water.
"In February 2012 I introduced the "Arsenic Prevention and Protection from Lead Exposure in Juice Act of 2012' or "APPLE Juice Act' which would require the FDA to establish standards for arsenic and lead in fruit juices after a separate investigation revealed alarmingly high levels of arsenic and lead in apple and grape juice in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Given the findings from Consumer Reports' new study, I intend to amend the APPLE Juice Act when the next Congress convenes to require the FDA to set limits for arsenic in rice and rice products, as well. I look forward to working with the Consumers Union and the FDA to move this policy forward to help ensure the health and safety of American children and all Americans."
The complete report and analysis can be found online at www.ConsumerReports.org
For Q+A's on FDA's analysis of arsenic in rice and rice products, please go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FoodContaminantsAdulteration/Metals/ucm319948.htm.