September 28, 2021

FDA Increases Scrutiny of Arsenic in Rice

The FDA has “expanded” the surveillance of arsenic levels in organic brown rice syrup after a report last week about alarming amounts of the compound in baby formula and cereal bars. The brands were not named in the study.

Brown riceThat report, titled Arsenic, Organic Foods, and Brown Rice Syrup, detailed high levels of inorganic arsenic in several products: Baby’s Only Organic® Dairy Toddler Formula and Baby’s Only Organic® Soy Toddler Formula, both produced by Nature’s One®, use organic brown rice syrup.

Nature’s One® has released a prepared response:

“An independent, third party testing laboratory completed testing on organic brown rice syrup used in formulas produced in 2011. The testing proved there are no safety concerns using the organic brown rice syrup ingredient. Nature’s One® products meet all safety requirements of the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”

There are no regulations for levels of arsenic in food at this time in the United States. China has a set limit: 150 parts per billion (ppb). The levels in the infant formula didn’t exceed the limit China has set, but researchers said they are “cause for concern.”

Arsenic occurs naturally in soil and was used as part of pesticide formulas for decades. When plants grow, they take up arsenic. Rice is especially problematic because arsenic closely resembles silica, a nutrient the rice needs to grow.

The FDA did say in a statement that “[we are] not aware of any brand of infant formula containing organic brown rice syrup. One brand of ‘toddler formula’ uses organic brown rice syrup as a sweetener. That product is labelled for use in children older than 12 months.”

The FDA has been studying arsenic levels in rice and products made with rice. That study should be completed this spring.



  1. In the documentary “A River of Waste” we can see how arsenic is being used as a chicken feed to strengthen their bones and allow for safer industrialization. The excess arsenic goes to the chicken manure which is used as fertilizer.

    The documentary shows several children with cancer, from the houses surrounding a chicken farm. Seems like the land being fertilized cannot absorb more manure, so it is taken by the wind into the people’s bodies and making them sick.

  2. Nature’s one submitted samples to the FDA to test for arsenic, the tests are complete but Nature’s one won’t release the numbers. Will the FDA release these numbers so the thousands of families concerned can make a decision on continuing use of the formula or switching?

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