How much lead is in your rice?
A new report from the American Chemical Society Meeting found that some commercially available rice imported to the U.S. contains unsafe levels of lead.
The U.S. imports about 7 percent of its rice. Since rice is grown in areas that are heavily irrigated it is more prone to environmental contamination than other basic foods. Previous studies of imported rice have found unsafe levels of other harmful chemicals like arsenic.
The most recent audit examined samples of rice from Bhutan, Italy, China, Taiwan, India, Israel and the Czech Republic. According to the results, the lead levels in rice from these countries are up to 12 times higher than what is considered safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The high lead levels pose a particular risk to children who can suffer from significant developmental problems if they are exposed to high levels of lead. The findings will be published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Health and the FDA plans to review the findings to determine if any action must be taken.