SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

September 12, 2013

Bit of Arsenic’s OK

Public health

Arsenic in rice products not unsafe, FDA tests find

By Sabrina Tavernise THE NEW YORK TIMES

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration announced yesterday that it has found no evidence that current levels of arsenic in rice pose an immediate health risk.   The finding comes two months after the agency proposed new limits on arsenic in apple juice following a public outcry that caused the agency to look at the issue more closely.

The agency tested more than 1,300 types of rice and rice products, like rice cakes and infant cereals, and found that arsenic levels ranged from 3 to 7 micrograms per serving, amounts the agency said were not hazardous to human health in the short term.

Most rice contains much higher levels of arsenic than apple juice, said Keeve Nachman, a scientist who studies arsenic in food at the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins University, but because there is such a wide variety of products made with it, and because it is present at such different levels, the analysis for rice is more complicated.

Arsenic is a carcinogen when consumed in large enough quantities. It occurs naturally in the environment, but it also can be the effect of industrial contamination.

Arsenic in the food supply was brought to the public’s attention in 2011 by the physician and television personality Mehmet Oz, who charged that levels in apple juice were too high.

In July, the FDA proposed a new limit for acceptable levels in apple juice, though it said it had conducted a broad study with many samples and had found apple juice to be safe.

A microgram is one-millionth of a gram, and an FDA spokeswoman said the levels they found in the rice and rice-product samples were too low to cause harm in the short term.

  • Experts applauded the agency’s effort but said it was impossible to tell whether those levels would be dangerous in the long term without knowing patterns of consumption.

(My Comment: 

I argued with myself whether or not to even show this piece, because its difficult to justify something as lacking in satisfaction as this article is.    I don’t know what to think of it, because  we are entitled to more.  We have enough to worry about.    It would  have been useful to tell us why arsenic is even anywhere near food let alone becoming allowed proportionally into foodstuff.  What purpose does it serve, why is it there?   This is going into baby food?  We ALL DESERVE AN ANSWER TO THAT.  You see, if one could understand why its there in the first place, I don’t think anybody would like it any better, but at least, we’d know why.   

There is every reason to question such  as this as we are being bombarded on every front with toxins– in our food, water and air.  On the farms in the forms of pesticides and fertilizers.  In manufacturing processes of every possible conceivable form, in the cans and other packaging.  In our homes with infinite electronic, unseen but powerful emanations;  radio waves and microwaves, EMF’s all around us.  If we don’t question everything and make an effort to be selective, we probably should just start planning our final resting place now. Our bodies can adapt to only so much abuse, beyond which it must crumble and die. 

We elect people to go off to Washington to represent us and act on our behalf.  Their job is to watch out for us and protect  the people and serve the ‘greatest good’. Instead, what has come about is that Washington is home to more millionaires than anyplace else in our country.  And our interests are NOT protected.    We are told the FDA doesn’t do any testing.  Yet in this article  the FDA is testing stuff and making judgements.  Where is the truth. . . how can one know?  The corporate structure who seeks all these determinations in order to do their business has very deep pockets which is why they are able to acquire the necessary  determinations they request  .   .   and coincidentally, the same reason all our elected politicians become so wealthy.   

It’s truly a sad state of affairs when we have to realize that no matter what we do to acquire normal good health and to maintain it, we are at such a disadvantage because our very government is stacking all the cards against us.  It isn’t Sarin and dying in the streets like the president in Syria is doing to his people, but we are being poisoned  slowly with a continual drum beat from the cradle to the grave with all the flu shots, vaccinations, GMO’s, farmed fish and genetically engineered everything else.   

With the myriad of  insults which humanity is enduring, is it any wonder that bizarre new disorders keep arriving to the extent that no one even recognizes them or knows even what to call them,  let alone what to do about them or how to treat.  This has grown to a point which is so far outside of “normal” logical expectations.  The stress-load we carry in the 21st century is threatening to remove the possibility of frivolous spontaneity, innocent wonder and awe or the slowness of tempo that we need in order to immerse into occasional overwhelming sense of beauty.    Just the way things are, I guess, but that doesn’t imply that there isn’t something we can’t do about it.    

We should start by throwing a whole lot of bums out!  Including FDA and Vilsack’s  Big AG.  Shake em up!  Then reshape.  If any of these departments can’t run things in a manner which serves the greatest good and truly helps people to a fuller, better life including the middle class (what’s left of them) and the needier amongst us, then they do not belong in public service.  One should never become a politician in order to become a millionaire or to make money.  If the heart – core and gut is no good, there is nothing good going to come from that person’s service.  It is time for ethics to be re-born and given a chance to reign again. 

Funny how a little thing like an offensive article can set one off.  Sorry, guess it was kinda like gas – it was there, had to come out.. . .  Jan) 


  1. This article from Consumer Reports discusses some of it:
    Quick summary: There’s definitely some naturally occurring arsenic in the soil, some in the environment from human activity, and rice is particularly good at collecting arsenic.

    I know that i read before about wells in Bangladesh having lots of arsenic, which I’d thought was naturally occurring. This article goes over some more details:

    Comment by gopiballava — September 12, 2013 @ 2:35 am | Reply

    • Can’t thank you enough for your response to my obvious dilemma over this. I am most eager to follow through and learn a thing or two here.

      My very deep appreciation. Jan

      Comment by Jan Turner — September 12, 2013 @ 2:17 pm | Reply

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