Arsenic, once known as the “king of poisons,” is a naturally occurring element found worldwide at low levels in water, food, air, and soil. Human exposure to arsenic can occur through ingestion of unregulated drinking water and certain agricultural commodities, particularly rice. In recent years, several studies by consumer advocacy groups have highlighted the presence of this toxic metal in a variety of food products.
On August 5, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a long-awaited guidance establishing an action level of 100 parts per billion (ppb) for inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal. While the FDA action level is a good start, the United States still lags behind other nations in terms of setting limits for heavy metals in food. Here are five facts to consider in regard to arsenic and the food supply. Continue Reading