updated - May 19, 2013 Sunday EDT
Arsenic in rice, a known carcinogen, has been found when scientist analyzed nearly 200 samples of rice and rice products, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Rice eaten just once a day can drive arsenic levels in the human body up 44 percent, according to the report. Rice eaten twice a day can lead to a 70 percent increase in arsenic. The agency is not recommending that consumers change their rice consumption habits but does recommend people eat a wide variety of grains as part of a balanced diet.
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday released preliminary results of arsenic levels in more than 200 rice and rice sample products. The agency said it expects to finish collecting and analyzing more than 1,200 samples by the end of the year.
Once the samples are analyzed and completed, the FDA will determine if additional recommendations are needed.
Products tested ranged from infant cereals to rice pasta and rice drinks and found "worrisome" levels of inorganic arsenic in most of the products. According to the Centers for Disease Control, inorganic arsenic has been linked to liver, bladder, and lung cancer.
Consumer Reports lead scientist on the study, Urvashi Rangan,said the study isn't meant to scare people from eating rice, rather "our investigation of arsenic in rice is supposed to inform consumers."
"We wanted to help consumers at least be able to take action for themselves in terms of moderating themselves. We asked the government to set standard," Rangan said.
The researchers also found geographical distinctions in arsenic levels, with white rice grown in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas, containing higher levels than rice samples from other parts of the country. Those four states account for 76 percent of domestic rice produced.
Consumer Reports suggests rice eaters limit themselves to one serving a day, especially for babies. Rinsing and then boiling rice in a 6 to 1 water ratio removes about 30 percent of its arsenic. They also caution that children under the age of 5 should not be given rice drinks as part of their daily diet.
TOP 10 FRANCHISE FOR 2013