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 Post subject: Re: Arsenic in rice
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:09 am 
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Semen Strong
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The article includes a list of recommended dosages, right?

Quote:
The new rice rules: 7 points per week
We used our new data and analysis to assign a point value to types of rice foods. On average, we recommend getting no more than 7 points per week. Risk analysis is based on weight, so a serving of any food will give children more points than adults.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Arsenic in rice
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:26 am 
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Ok, that's scary. No more rice for the birds.

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 Post subject: Re: Arsenic in rice
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 2:17 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
The article includes a list of recommended dosages, right?

Quote:
The new rice rules: 7 points per week
We used our new data and analysis to assign a point value to types of rice foods. On average, we recommend getting no more than 7 points per week. Risk analysis is based on weight, so a serving of any food will give children more points than adults.

Image


That sucks that chicken isn't in that chart to offer a perspective.

Consumer Reports is basically saying for adults to not have rice more than once a week.

Good grief.

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 Post subject: Re: Arsenic in rice
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:19 pm 
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Yup. Hope people who feed their kids rice cereal notice this.


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenic in rice
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:54 pm 
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Very cool open letter from the CEO of Lundberg Farms:

http://www.lundberg.com/info/arsenic-in-food/

Quote:
Over the past three years, Lundberg Family Farms has taken a number of important steps in response to the release of research studies concerning arsenic in rice. Our team has been actively engaged with farmers, academic and regulatory communities, as well as our colleagues in the food industry, to better understand arsenic in food. At Lundberg Family Farms, we take pride in our food safety and we continue to work to bring you relevant information, as well as to evaluate ways to mitigate the presence of this naturally occurring element in rice.

As FDA continues to conduct its risk assessment, we look forward to the results of its efforts. In the meantime, we plan to follow the international standard, established through Codex, as an independent, evidence-based guideline by which to judge the safety of our products. We recently updated the published levels of arsenic in our rice, which now covers three consecutive years of data. I am happy to report that the levels of inorganic arsenic continue to remain low, and average less than half of the standard established by Codex. We are also actively engaged in the development of a code of practice through Codex to help develop ways to reduce arsenic levels even further.

We have just received the findings published by Consumer Reports, and will provide comment after we have had an opportunity to review its findings and recommendations.

We support consumers’ right to know about the food they are eating, and remain committed to transparency on all issues. We have published the results of our arsenic testing in our crop for the past three years. We provide a link to information on arsenic that includes peer-reviewed research studies, as well as straight-forward answers to questions about arsenic in general, as well as Lundberg-specific products.


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenic in rice
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:57 pm 
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When I worked at a co-op Lundberg was the brand in the bulk department, not sure if that's the case elsewhere!


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenic in rice
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:21 pm 
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Yeah Lundberg is the brand I buy, I buy them in 25 lb bags.

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 Post subject: Re: Arsenic in rice
PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:59 pm 
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Regarding the "points" system, although Consumer Reports has some authority in the area of product safety, I am not certain about their peer review process. Consumer Reports is certainly not a peer-reviewed scientific journal, and as far as I know they have not published these results in such a journal either. One source that I found claimed that Consumer Reports relies only on internal peer review, rather than independent external peer review, but I can't verify this. Regardless, I would be leery of using their recommendations to change my eating habits in the absence of additional scientific support and review.

In their full report, they describe that the points system uses an upper limit of inorganic arsenic derived from epidemiological data would cause 1 case of cancer in 1000 people over their lifetimes. So, if everyone followed their guidelines and all their assumptions are correct, the lifetime risk of developing cancer from the level of arsenic consumed would be 1 case of cancer in 1000 people, at most.

To me, the levels they report and their points system are neither reassuring nor concerning. They did not look at other health effects besides cancer, and the link between very low levels of arsenic and cancer seems tenuous at best. Especially in children, I would be concerned about other health effects, such as effects on the developing brain, liver, kidneys or bone marrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenic in rice
PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:26 pm 
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After reading this, I did a hunt to see what Brazil is saying about rice-- considering that Brazilians consider rice as a staple, and most eat a serving or two every day, I was surprised we aren't hearing panic about this here. It turns out that the same studies were reported and other local ones were done here and the results were similar- but the thing is, from what I can gather, in Brazil we have arsenic levels established by the government and the US does not? And the levels they found were within the parameters, so nobody is saying to stop eating rice. (this message brought to you by the Rice Board, perhaps).
In any case, no matter what anyone says, I am glad we have pretty much cut our rice intake way down (since starting eat to live for me) and that I don't have a growing child eating rice. I am even more concerned for my GF friends who use a lot of rice, because especially here, there aren't many other alternatives.

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 Post subject: Re: Arsenic in rice
PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:04 pm 
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Lundberg is a popular rice farm with health food stores, co-ops, etc in the United States. Obviously, they are a vested interest. Their side of the story is that while the U.S. does not have a safe arsenic limit on food, the U.N. does. That limit is 200 parts per billion. The Lundberg site claims ( I haven't read it all yet ) that independent testers have tested their rice to be within those limits.

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 Post subject: Re: Arsenic in rice
PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:22 pm 
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Beanitarian, that was a helpful analysis.


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenic in rice
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:43 am 
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No disrespect to Beanitarian. I am not happy with his analysis, despite wanting his analysis to settle the matter positively in regards to rice consumption. It seems like all Beanitarian had to say was that the methodology of Consumer Reports coming to its conclusion is not the best methodology. That isn't the same as Consumer Reports being wrong. I would like them to be. However, Consumer Reports has a deserved good reputation. I can't in all honesty dismiss their claims until I see opinions from other experts to put it in perspective. I've written away to people Virginia Messina, Jack Norris, and Michael Greger to ask them for their opinions. Hopefully they will have something reassuring to say.

I really like what Lundberg Farms had to say about their rice, but obviously, they have a vested interest.

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 Post subject: Re: Arsenic in rice
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:34 pm 
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Thanks Ariann! Happy to help.

beforewisdom - I'm afraid I don't understand what you aren't happy with. I doubt there is going to be a definitive answer on this topic for some time. I did offer a critique of their methods--with the limited information available, I certainly cannot say they are wrong. I do consider Consumer Reports to be reputable but not immune to bias or honest mistakes. I do think the proposed "points" system is premature given the quality of the data available. I will be very interested to hear what Ginny Messina and Jack Norris have to say on this issue.

In the meantime, given that the so far the risks of low level arsenic exposure appear to poorly defined and may be quite small, I still do not plan to change my rice consumption but rather will continue to eat a varied diet, per the FDA and the American Association of Pediatric's recommendations. If I had small children, I would certainly favor varying their first foods rather than using exclusively the traditional rice-based cereals. To me, this is mostly a public health issue rather than something individuals should be worried about, given the very low levels detected and the lack of well-defined health risks at these low levels.


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenic in rice
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:00 pm 
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Beanitarian, I thought your analysis was helpful because I generally avoid using one source to make any decisions about what I'm going to eat/not eat, and no matter how reputable Consumer Reports is (I think they're very reputable, which is why this freaked me out A LOT), I am the kind of person who generally demands the peer-reviewed journal article, so I don't see why I should practice differently in this case. It's always helpful to have someone say, whoa, let's slow down here. I totally understand that definitive answers are unlikely or not going to come really soon. That's the suckiest part of having to choose what to eat.

PS I'm happy my daughter has actually never eaten a rice-based cereal in her life, nor ever had rice milk. They always seemed like nutritionally empty choices in the first place, why eat/drink those things over something with more nutrition (like any starchy veg, oatmeal, cream of wheat, and soy milk)?


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenic in rice
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:15 pm 
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It worries me. I didn't know about this before and can't think of any other reason for my having gotten bladder cancer so young. Bladder cancer's main causes are old age, red meat, and smoking, but rice/arsenic makes more sense with me obviously.

I don't have it every day, but rice and beans and rice noodles are common foods for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenic in rice
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:32 pm 
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Cook it in a coffee maker!

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... t-of-rice/

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