Rice candies are really popular with kids, and even though many people think that they are healthy, the truth is quite the contrary. A new study has shown that these products are full of dangerous levels of a substance which is a known carcinogen. This study was conducted by the Swedish National Food Agency, and after 102 rice products which are available on the market were tested, it was discovered that many of them contain high levels of arsenic, a known carcinogen.
After seeing this study’s results, the Food safety organization has revised its dietary recommendations on rice. They have decided that rice and rice products, like rice porridge, rice noodles or breakfast cereal made of puffed rice (including Rice Crispies for example) should not be taken in by children more than four times on a weekly basis. The rice-based product that contains the most arsenic are the rice cakes, and thus, these cakes should not be given to kids under the age of six.
According to Emma Halldin Ankarberg, a toxicologist at the Swedish National Food Agency, numerous children consume rice cakes as a snack, but unluckily, they have to inform all parents that this is not good and that children should not be given these rice cakes. Scientists and researchers from other countries also give the same advice.
When it comes to other age groups, rice cakes are ok when consumed in moderation, but it depends on the quantity of rice products consumed overall, the toxicologist adds.
People who consume rice in great amounts, which is, over seven times a week, should reduce their rice intake since they are exposing themselves at a risk of ingesting great amounts of arsenic as well.
According to the study results, some popular rice products, like Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, Organix First Wholegrain Baby Rice and Boots Baby organic rice cakes are some of those that were proven to contain unsafe levels of arsenic.
ABOUT ARSENIC AND RICE
In nature, arsenic is found in the soil and bedrock. The arsenic is thus absorbed by the plants. Still, rice is one of the plants that are especially open to absorbing and storing high amounts of arsenic. The arsenic is a known carcinogen and when it is taken in and absorbed in great amounts, can lead to skin tumors, tumors of the bladder, the lungs, the kidneys, the liver and the prostate. Furthermore, if one exposes themselves to arsenic perpetually, they might end up with a number of other health issues, such as liver damage, chronic cough, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neurological effects. The most risky group is the children’s group.
Over the past few years, a lot of attention has been given to the presence of arsenic in some rice products and in the baby rice. In the same study it was also revealed that rice contains different levels of arsenic, and they depend on the cultivation area, the variety, the cultivation methods, and on the production methods, for instance, whole grains normally contain more arsenic than refined rice, etc.