U.S. rice high in arsenic

August 2, 2005, Nature.com: Arsenic levels in U.S. grown rice are on average 1.4 to 5 times higher than in those grown in other regions of the world according to a grain survey.

The survey team found U.S. rice to be higher in arsenic than rice grown in Europe, India or Bangladesh. The arsenic was found at levels that if consumed as part of subsistence diet it could exceed the maximum recommended allowance by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The findings, while ultimately inconclusive due to survey size, have lead several researchers to speculate as to the reason for the results. Some of the possible explanations include: pesticide residue from what were formerly cotton fields and natural geological sources.

Arsenic in low doses does not cause any serious harm but there is evidence long term intake could increase the risk of bladder cancer.

For the complete article go to: http://www.nature.com/news/2005/050801/full/050801-5.html