Friday, February 17, 2012

Arsenic in Organics

  Ok, parents here's something new to be on the lookout for. Articles released this morning by Food Safety News and various other news sources indicate that high levels of ARSENIC has been found in organic foods such as: baby formula, cereal bars, and energy shots. 

  Brown rice syrup, used in many organic foods as a sweetener, as a substitute for the increasingly-unpopular high fructose corn syrup, is the culprit. Also know as OBRS, a Dartmouth College research team found that these foods containing brown rice syrup have high levels of arsenic -- at rates well above the limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency for drinking water.

  At the present time, there are no regulatory limits on arsenic levels in food in the U.S. Findings such as these might indicate that some kind of regulation needs be set. In water, the EPA set the limit for public drinking water at 10 parts per billion (ppb) in 2001.

  After testing 17 infant formulas, 29 cereal bars and three different energy drinks, the team found levels significantly above the level established for public drinking water.

Organic Brown Rice Syrup is the culprit.
  Arsenic levels ranging from 23 to 128 ppb were found in cereal bars. One of the energy drinks registered at 84 ppm, and the two others hit 171 ppb. The infant formula came in at 8.6 ppb for dairy-based, and 21.4 ppb for soy-based.

  The two baby formulas that contained brown rice syrup had arsenic levels that were more than 20 times greater than each of the 15 formulas that didn’t contain brown rice syrup. These products were Baby’s Only Organic Dairy Toddler Formula and Baby’s Only Organic Soy Toddler Formula, both made by Nature’s One.

  High levels of arsenic exposure can raise a person’s risk for cancer and heart disease, and young children who ingest too much arsenic may suffer lower IQs and poorer intellectual function. It's obviously most-concerning in baby formula because many times, formula is the sole source of nutrition for infants, if they are not breast-fed.

  So once again, information is power. Let's continue to pay attention to what is being put into our food. And urge that the safety of the food being put on our shelves continue to be researched, and maybe more-importantly, regulated. 

  ~ Sabrina 

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