The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a Scientific Assessment for Arsenic in Rice. The assessment guides the general population to eat a balanced diet with a diversity of grains, and proposes a draft action level for inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal. OTA sumbitted comments to FDA on its proposal.
July 19, 2016: OTA submitted comments in response to FDA's proposed limit for inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal. Read OTA's comments >>
On April 1, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a Scientific Assessment for Arsenic in Rice. The assessment guides the general population to eat a balanced diet with a diversity of grains, and proposes a draft action level for inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal.
Organic farms and businesses are committed to a safe high-quality food supply and to providing consumers with the information they need to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. For over three years, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) has supported the work of the Food and Drug Administration in assessing arsenic exposure from rice. We are now pleased to see FDA bring forth a science-based assessment that will assist the organic sector in putting to rest concerns for the general public and move toward a better option for at risk populations, including clear limits on infant rice cereal.
OTA supports the regulatory assessment process, and has provided assistance and collaboration through our Organic Rice Working Group. The organic industry has conducted research to mitigate the levels of arsenic present in the food supply, as well as to better understand its health impact. We have shared consumer feedback and agronomic research, and we firmly believe that setting limits is a clear way to provide assurance to consumers that their food supply is safe. We are confident in the safety of organic rice relative to FDA’s proposed action level for infant rice cereal, as well as the EFSA limits that went into effect in January of this year, and the Codex limits established last year.
This federal guidance is a reasonable outcome following years of engagement with regulators, farmers, food producers, academics, and technical experts to proactively address the issue of arsenic in food. The organic sector will continue to stay engaged in the process. Every day millions of consumers choose organic food because it the most transparent and trust-worthy option out there and we are prepared to continue to meet that expectation.
FDA Draft Guidance for Industry: Inorganic Arsenic in Rice Cereals for Infants FDA Consumer Q&A: 7 Things Pregnant Women and Parents Need to Know About Arsenic in Rice FDA Web Resources: Arsenic in Rice and Rice Products The Organic Center research project to decrease arsenic uptake in organic rice systems.
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