FDA's New Finding About Arsenic Levels in Rice

Dr. Besser with information about arsenic levels in rice commonly found in kitchens.
2:01 | 09/06/13

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Transcript for FDA's New Finding About Arsenic Levels in Rice
Next, we turn to the new report on arsenic levels in ce. The kind of rice in most american kitchens. Dr. Richard besser tells us what it means and what to do. Reporter: Baby's first solid food. For many, it's rice cereal. And for the rest of us -- long grain rice, jasmine rice, rice crackers. We eat right every day. Today the fda gave results of arsenic tests on 1,300 rice products. They found inorganic arsenic, the most dangerous kind, in most of them. Arsenic is always in the ground and in water, and rice absorbs it. Ironically, the highest level is in the healthiest rice -- brown rice, with its shell. The fda's report says the amount of detectible arsenic is, quote, too low to cause any immediate or short-term adverse health effects. Industry groups are pleased with the report and say it, quote, supports the process by which fda is moving forward." But this story is not over. Those headlines that say don't worry miss the point. The point is not about immediate short-term effects. It's about the long-term health effects. Reporter: Arsenic, long-term, could lead to cancer, and problems with your heart, lungs, and nervous system. The fda has already set arsenic limits in apple juice. Today's report is, it's hoped, a first step to limits in rice as well. So what should the producers of rice do differently? The rice industry is taking it seriously. They're looking at ways to grow and process rice and keep it out in the first place. We're not talking china here. This is american rice. That's right. If you're making rice, you want to reduce the arsenic. Rinse it until the water runs clear. You want to cook it in extra water, so the arsenic stays behind. And then vary your diet so you're having other grains and not eating as much rice. As a pediatrician, I'm no longer recommending rice cereal as a first food for children. There are other things that don't have the risk. Thanks so much, richard besser reporting in.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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