EWG Applauds Rep. DeLauro’s Bill to Protect Americans from Arsenic in Rice

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For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, May 21, 2015

WASHINGTON – EWG applauds Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, D-Conn., for her commitment to protect public health from the worrisome amounts of inorganic arsenic in rice and popular rice-based processed foods. The proposed legislation, the Reducing food-based Inorganic Compounds Exposure (RICE) Act, reaffirms that she stands for national policies that protect America’s health.

EWG Senior Analyst Sonya Lunder said:

Congresswoman DeLauro is showing real leadership with her bill to set a maximum permissible level for inorganic arsenic in rice and food containing rice. The government has been slow to take action to address arsenic contamination in food, and this legislation is a good step forward in protecting the health and safety of America’s children.

For Americans, rice-based foods are a bigger source of arsenic exposure than contaminated drinking water. The arsenic in rice is concentrated in rice syrup, which is sometimes used as a sweetener in snack bars and non-dairy beverages. Inorganic arsenic has also been found in the rice cereals often introduced as a baby’s first food.  

Arsenic is a potent carcinogen. In addition to cancer, long-term exposure to arsenic is associated with harms to human health including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and lung disease.

The RICE Act is a critical step in protecting our children from arsenic exposure, and EWG thanks Rep. DeLauro for championing this legislation.