A nerve agent and known carcinogen, arsenic was found recently in certain brands of baby formula. As the latest baby product undermined by chemical contamination, baby formulas containing rice syrup – organic or conventional – spark the most concern, although any food can contain this thought-to-be-healthy high fructose corn syrup alternative. After BPA and fire retardant chemicals, arsenic is the latest in a line of carcinogens parents need to be mindful of.
Detailed in the Huffington Post, a Dartmouth College study revealed foods sweetened with rice syrup have a higher concentration of arsenic. But why rice and not another crop? As the Post piece explains, land formerly reserved for cotton has been transformed into rice paddies.
Environmentally-conscious parents, often on the lookout for organic cotton baby products, are aware of the harmful chemicals that lace the soil of and are sprayed on cotton plants. Arsenic is one. Although the cotton crop has figuratively dried up, the arsenic is essentially embedded in the top soil, and rice planted in such ground absorbs the chemical.
Presently, the USDA is conducting research to reduce arsenic levels in domestic rice crops. Foreign rice, however, is not affected.
The USA Rice Federation, on the other hand, claims the arsenic discovery is hysteria. More specifically, arsenic is a naturally-occurring substance, they state, and has been in food and water for years. Unlike rice, however, water has inorganic arsenic – a more harmful compound – and has been regulated by FDA standards for years.
So, when it comes to your baby, what do you believe? Is the USA Rice Federation deflecting the study’s results in order to save their industry? Or, is the Dartmouth Study going slightly overboard with the results? Before a clear determination is made, however, be watchful of baby formula’s ingredients. Although the study pointed specifically to Baby’s Only Organic Dairy Toddler Formula and Baby’s Only Organic Soy Toddler Formula, other brands could contain rice syrup.
- Is the Arsenic Found in Organic Brown Rice Syrup Based Baby Formulas Dangerous? (guide.thesoftlanding.com)
- How did Arsenic Get into Organic Baby Formula? (fooducate.com)
- Some Baby Formulas “May Contain Arsenic” (pamil-visions.net)