A major study by Prof. Andrew Mehag of Aberdeen University has found high levels of arsenic in rice and rice products. The study was carried out for the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Arsenic is considered one of the worst cancer causing chemicals. The study found that around 10% of rice sold in the UK contains arsenic above the level China has found to be damaging to health.
The EU currently has no legal limit for arsenic in food and our own level was set in 1959, before it was known that arsenic could cause cancer. The study found that rice from France, USA, Italy and Bangladesh had the highest levels of arsenic. 30% of American rice tested had arsenic levels higher than the Chinese limit. Indian and Egyptian rice had the lowest levels. Bad news for people like me that eat brown rice every day is that brown rice had even higher levels of arsenic. Even worse news for me, some rice milk was found to contain high levels of arsenic too.