Nightly News   |  September 19, 2012

Elevated arsenic found in rice

Consumer Reports tested more than 200 samples of the most popular brands of rice and discovered elevated levels of arsenic. NBC’s Jeff Rossen reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> as we mentioned at the top of the broadcast the health alert is out tonight about rice and rice products, everything from cereal to crackers to baby food . new studies are out today, one study showing that rice contains arsenic, something some folks new, but not everybody. more from nbc's jeff ross .

>> reporter: from babies eating rice cereal , to kids.

>> it snaps and pops.

>> reporter: and their rice krispies , rice is a staple. but now new reports showing alerts that arsenic has been tested, in 200 samples of the most popular brands.

>> these are not trace amounts, these are moderate to high amounts.

>> reporter: the fda did its own tests and announced similar results. while the health risks are not known, arsenic is a health risk over time that can cause health problems such as cancer and bladder problems, still, others say the rice is safe.

>> we have not seen established concerns that can be pointed to as a result to eating rice.

>> reporter: arsenic can be linked to cancer, but there is not something that says it can happen in food. but do you want to wait for that as a parent.

>> what we do know is that rice is a healthy food.

>> reporter: just last year, consumer reports found elevated levels of arsenic in apple and grape juice . while it is regulated in drinking water , there are no standards for rice, drinking water or other foods. what is your message to the fda ?

>> the message to the fda , it is time to start setting the standards in food.

>> reporter: but the fda says that more testing is needed. matt lauer talked about it today.

>> why not set limits now?

>> well, our best advice is a balanced die it. i am a mom, i recommend moderation in what they eat.

>> reporter: others say eat rice in moderation, and when you do, rinse it thoroughly. and if you're a parent serving your baby rice cereal , limit it to once a week. nbc news, new york.