I was going to write about something else but after reading through some of todays headlines I decided to switch gears at the last second. One headline stood out the most to me and it was; The FDA PROPOSES Reduction of Arsenic in Baby Rice Cereals. Now, this isn’t surprising to me as there are no real regulations in other countries regarding how much arsenic is allowed in the water supply or in the production of foods. What is surprising to me is that the FDA has known about this for a very long time. Mothers have been complaining about this, doctors have been complaining about this, and so have scientists and yet the FDA has turned a blind eye to it until now.
How does the arsenic get into our food? Well, when apples, rice, grapes and other crops, which are produced in other countries such as China or Argentina, arsenic gets into the food through typical growth and production. These foods are then shipped to the United States, where we DO have regulations on arsenic (even though I feel as though they are not strict enough- we actually ADD arsenic to our crops through the exposure of pesticides). However, we don’t test for arsenic in these products for reasons unbeknownst to me. Companies buy these products because they’re cheaper, it is as simple as that. These companies go on to make things such as baby food and cereal, which is not tested for safety even though the foods used in it are grown in countries where arsenic and even lead levels are not well regulated. Our babies then eat these foods and are poisoned by the higher than legally allowed levels of arsenic in them. Just one serving of rice cereal can exceed the limit of arsenic recommended for an entire week. This is a serious problem.
If you want to avoid foods that are high in arsenic stick with foods grown in the United States or eat certified organic foods.
Here is a great article and video if you want to learn more on this important issue.