US baby formula arsenic content possible, study says

By on Feb 17, 2012 in Food, Health, Lifestyle, Parenting, United States Comments

Some baby formula in the US is likely to have arsenic content (As), along with other food that use organic brown rice syrup as a sweetener such as cereal bars, a recent scientific study is now saying.

Image Credit: Michael Duva/Getty Images

As noted at US news sites on Thursday, February 16, 2012, researchers at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire revealed that organic brown rice syrup (OBRS), which is used as a sweetener in organic food products such as baby formula, may introduce arsenic on them.

“We determined the concentration and speciation of arsenic (As) in commercially available brown rice syrups, and in products containing OBRS including baby formula, cereal/energy bars, and high energy foods used by endurance athletes.” A statement reads on the abstract of the study.

The study, which is also published online at the journal Environmental Health Perspective that day, said that two of 17 baby formulas tested listed organic brown rice syrup as their primary ingredient, which may contain arsenic.

Based on the study, one of them had a total arsenic concentration level of as much as six times the U.S. federal limit of 10 parts per billion for drinking water, in which there are currently no federal thresholds for arsenic in juices or most foods.

“We focused on organic brown rice syrup because this seems to be a sweetener of choice for some organic food products.” Brian Jackson, Ph.D., lead author of the study, was quoted at Consumer Reports.

“In the absence of regulations for levels of arsenic in food, I would certainly advise parents who are concerned about their children’s exposure to arsenic not to feed them formula where brown rice syrup is the main ingredient,” Jackson added.

Apparently, the study did not reveal brands of baby formulas they investigated that possibly contain arsenic but concluded that there is an urgent need for the US government to provide regulatory limits on arsenic in food.

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