Arsenic in rice products

The results of a recent study showing high levels of arsenic appearing in rice products appeared on Dr Oz's website recently. You can read the study here...

This was most concerning to me as rice products have been a considerable part of my son's diet ever since he grew out of his rice allergy a number of years ago. Rice products are so versatilee and can be used to replace many different foods that may not be tolerable.

A lot of allergy mums will use rice milk to replace dairy or soy milk (Please Note: Rice milk is not an adequate nutritional substitute for cows milk). Rice crackers and rice cakes are great substitutions for wheat crackers. So, as you may understand I was really concerned about this latest study.
Firstly, what damage has been done with consuming rice and consequently arsenic. How has my boy been affected?
Secondly, what would we now use to replace rice.

I immediately emailed Ann Swain from the RPA Allergy clinic with my concerns. I had actually been in her office on a previous occasion when this matter had been talked about with a colleague and herself. Knowing how busy she is, I wasn't really expecting an answer in any great hurry as I know she is swamped with emails and being a weekend, I started planning alternatives to rice products.

Typical Ann though, she responded the following day (Sunday) with the following information, assuring me that arsenic in rice drink is not a problem in Australia...

"Freedom Foods (So Natural rice milk and the organic rice milk Australia’s Own) sent off 3 samples of the So Natural rice milk last year for testing of arsenic and all 3 came back at 0.03mg/kg.
· Vitasoy regularly test their milks for arsenic levels and the highest values found have been between 0.01mg/kg - 0.03mg/kg.
· Sanitarium regularly test their milks for arsenic levels and the values found were 0.01mg/kg - 0.03mg/kg. The average level is 0.02mg/kg."
So, my mind is at ease for now. i just wanted to keep anyone in the loop who has come across this study and is panicked. I did also email her further about rice crackers and other rice products and she responded with the following..

"It will be the same as rice milk is made from rice and our FSANZ would have checked it as well"

So, all appears to be okay, in Australia anyway.....


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