Oryana Natural Foods Market
Oryana Natural Foods Market
260 East Tenth Street | Traverse City, MI 49684 | (231) 947-0191

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Brown Rice Syrup and Arsenic

February 28, 2012, 9:02 am

A recent news article is making the rounds linking arsenic and brown rice syrup. Oryana wants you to know that we not only take this seriously but are researching the information surrounding the article and working with our Cooperative Peers to address the issue.

What we know is that a Dartmouth study entitled, “Arsenic, Organic Foods and Brown Rice Syrup,” was published last week making a claim that a number of items containing either brown rice syrup or brown rice contained higher amounts of arsenic then those that did not contain those ingredients. One of those products identified, Nature’s One, is an organic toddler formula made with brown rice syrup that Oryana carries. However, a company statement regarding this formula states, “An independent, third party testing laboratory completed testing on organic brown rice syrup used in the 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 the safety requirements of the FDA.” The FDA has not restricted or barred this product from being sold.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, arsenic is present in the environment as a naturally occurring substance and as a result of human activity. It is found in water, air, food, and soil in organic and inorganic forms. Organic arsenic is essentially harmless, but the inorganic kind can be harmful at high and long-term levels of exposure. Arsenic is soluble under paddy conditions and rice plants growing in contaminated soil will take it up, transporting it to the grain from the root. The amount depends on the soil conditions and geography. Inorganic arsenic is housed in the outer layer of the rice kernel and is the reason why brown rice may contain more arsenic then white rice, which has had the bran or outer layers removed. At present there are no standards or limits for arsenic in food, only water, of which the EPA has set the standard at 10 ppb for total arsenic.

The journal “Environmental Science and Technology" cites an article stating that rice grown in California contains much less arsenic than rice from other regions. Oryana sells a variety of California rice and brown rice syrup grown by the Lundberg Family Farms of California.

Oryana will continue to keep you informed as we learn more about this issue. You may also find more information on the following websites:

Journal of Environmental Science and technology article “Market Basket Survey” compares California rice with rice from other areas
Journal of Environmental Monitoring 2009 article called “Cooking rice in a high water to rice ratio reduces the inorganic arsenic content”

If you have questions or concerns please contact us at info@oryana.coop

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