Testing It Up

Study Suggests Presence of Arsenic in Organic Baby Formula

Organic food may not always be good for you, based on the results of a new study.

The results of a study conducted by researchers from Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School indicated that organic brown rice syrup (OBRS), a sweetener used in organic and gluten-free foods (including baby formula), may be a source of arsenic.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, looked at foods that use OBRS, and found that certain baby formulas, cereal bars, and energy shots contained significantly higher levels of arsenic, when compared against the federal limit of 10 parts per billion (ppb) for drinking or bottled water.

What makes the matter even more worrisome is the fact that there are no regulatory limits in place in the United States for arsenic in food. Brian Jackson, lead author of the study, shared: “In the absence of regulations for levels of arsenic in food, I would certainly advise parents who are concerned about their children’s exposure to arsenic not to feed them formula where brown-rice syrup is the main ingredient.”

The study also found that the arsenic levels of one of the two infant formulas from the 17 that were tested, which listed OBRS as a main ingredient, was six times the federal limit for arsenic in water. In addition, 22 percent of the 29 cereal or energy bars that were tested had at least one of four of the following rice products: OBRS, rice flour, rice grain, or rice flakes as the main ingredient. These bars had arsenic levels that range from 23 ppb to 128 ppb.

February 17, 2012 at 6:15 am Comment (1)