Thai rice 'has lowest arsenic'
- Published: 15/01/2013 at 07:58 AM
- Online news:
Research by the University of California into fears and claims of arsenic in rice said Tuesday that the world famous Thai khao hom mali had the least amount of the naturally produced poison of any grain in the world.
The study, publicised online Tuesday in a press release, also failed to reach any conclusion about the dangers of arsenic in rice.
But for those who are worried, it appears that "jasmine rice from Thailand, had the least arsenic," along with basmatic strains imported into the US from India and Pakistan.
The university's Wellness Letter noted that arsenic in food is widespread, including in fruit juices and fresh fruit from throughout the United States.
Recent studies into rice, targeted by many food activists for alleged arsenic content, found that "White rice from Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas (where most U.S. rice comes from) had more total and inorganic arsenic than rice grown elsewhere (including California, India, and Thailand)," the research showed.
In addition, so-called healthy rice, particularly brown rice, had far higher levels of arsenic than white rice - and "organic" products are the most poisonous of all.
"Avoid brown rice syrup and foods made with it, many of which are 'junk food' anyway," the university's letter concluded, "even if they are 'organic' or come from a health-food store."
Scare stories about arsenic in rice re-emerged last year, motivating scientists and researchers to look more deeply into the subject. So far, no evidence has emerged of any danger from the naturally produced arsenic in rice.
Neither the Thai nor the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made any recommendation or regulations about naturally occurring arsenic in rice.
The USA Rice Federation, which represents thousands of rice farmers, maintains that rice is safe and nutritious and that, "there is not sufficient data about arsenic levels in rice or potential risk to human health on which to base any recommendations to lower consumption or stop eating rice."
The well-read US publication Consumer Reports recommended last year that adults should consume no more than two to three servings of rice a week, but provided no evidence that more consumption - including daily consumption - is harmful.