Because rice takes up arsenic more readily than other grains, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is looking at the effects of long-term exposure to very low amounts of arsenic in rice and rice products. Rice's importance as a staple in regions around the world makes it a priority for food researchers.
Click through the gallery for more foods that can contain traces of arsenic, according to studies. Shutterstock
In a 2012 study by researchers at Dartmouth College, products that listed organic brown rice syrup as a primary ingredient, such as some toddler formulas and cereal bars, tested positive for higher levels of arsenic than products that didn't contain the ingredient or contained less of it. Shutterstock
The Dartmouth study tested two toddler formulas that listed organic brown rice syrup as a primary ingredient and 15 that did not. The study found that the formulas in which the syrup was a primary ingredient contained 20 times more arsenic than the other formulas. The baby pictured above is not associated with the study.Shutterstock
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed in 2013 to limit the amount of inorganic arsenic in apple juice to 10 parts per billion, the same level set for water. Because arsenic-based pesticides were commonly used in U.S. agricultural production up until 1970, trace levels of arsenic can be detected in some agricultural settings, which could lead to small amounts of arsenic in certain foods and beverages, including apples, according to the FDA.Shutterstock
It is common for some arsenic to be found in seafood. However, higher concentrations of dietary organic arsenic may be found in bivalve mollusks (clams, oysters, mussels) and crustaceans (crabs and lobsters), according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. The organic forms of arsenic found in these types of seafood are generally considered nontoxic.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
As part of its comprehensive look at rice in 2012, the FDA tested not only rice for arsenic levels, but also products containing rice. That includes beer, which sometimes uses rice as an ingredient. Shutterstock
The FDA analyzed 142 samples of pear juice and pear juice concentrate from 2005 to 2011. "Of these, 23 had levels of inorganic arsenic at or above 23 parts per billion, the level of concern for inorganic arsenic in pear juice." Those products were recalled, denied entry into the United States, or in a few cases the company received a warning letter.Shutterstock