Parents serving less rice to family because of health risks - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Parents serving less rice to family because of health risks

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For many parents, rice is an easy meal to make, especially while on the run.

There's growing concern about the amount of arsenic found in the food, and the health problems it may cause.

Arsenic is a carcinogen found in soil and rice can absorb higher levels, especially brown rice.

An alternative is cauliflower rice.

Mom Aubrey Graf-Daniels has cut most rice out of the family diet

“I stopped eating rice about two-to-three years ago on a consistent basis because I'd heard about the arsenic,” she said.

The Food and Drug Administration has been monitoring levels for decades and said the arsenic found in products is too low to cause short term problems.

Possible long-term health effects include cancer and heart disease.

“The number of health effects we contribute to arsenic has grown over time,” said Dr. Joseph Graziano, Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

Graziano's lab at Columbia University studied arsenic in water and exposure during pregnancy and he found high levels can be particularly problematic for newborns.

“It may influence the health outcomes later in life,” Graziano said.

The FDA is looking into possible long-term health risks, but has not said when it plans to release that assessment.

For now, experts said to eat a well-balanced diet that also includes other grains like wheat, barley and oats.

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