Nightly News | February 16, 2012
>>> there is a new study out tonight on pars nick, a poison found in the environment, but now also found in some toddler formulas and cereal bars, the ones sold as organic. our report on this tonight from nbc's tom costello.
>> reporter: scientists at dartmouth college call it hidden arsenic, high levels of the poison discovered in organic brown rice syrup , a commonly used organic sweetener. researchers found arsenic in two toddler formulas. one had a total arsenic concentration six times the arsenic level the epa allows in drinking water . meanwhile, the infant formulas without organic brown rice had low levels of arsenic. it was found in 22 out of 29 cereal or energy bars that contained rice syrup, rice flour , rice grain or rice flakes. in high energy shots that contain rice products. news to parents in los angeles today.
>> i wouldn't have consumed that if i had known that. i wouldn't give to it my child.
>> i don't know what brown rice syrup is in the first place. i can't trust it.
>> reporter: once used as a pesticide, arsenic tends to stay in the soil. long-term exposure has been linked to cancer. both the dr. oz show and consumer reports reported finding high levels in apple and grape juice .
>> just because the labeling says natural, doesn't mean that it's safe, healthy or good for you.
>> reporter: while the epa regulates the amount of arsenic allowed in water, there are no regulations on arsenic in juice or food. consumer advocates say that needs to change.
>> it's time for government to set standards to lower the levels of arsenic and lead in juices and food our families consume.
>> reporter: today the fda said it began studying arsenic levels in rice last october. meanwhile, nature's one says independent tests have shown arsenic levels were, quote, undetectible in its toddler formula . tom costello, nbc news, washington.