retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Consumer Reports this morning is out with a story saying that in its "tests of more than 60 rice and rice products, inorganic arsenic, a known human carcinogen, was found in most of the name brand and other rice product samples. Levels varied, but were significant in some samples."

And right on cue, the Washington Post reports this morning that "the Food and Drug Administration plans to announce Wednesday that it is working toward a proposal that would limit the amount of arsenic in rice."

The Consumer Reports study goes on to say that inorganic arsenic, the predominant form of arsenic in most of the 65 rice products Consumer Reports analyzed, "is known to cause bladder, lung, and skin cancer in humans, with the liver, kidney, and prostate now considered potential targets of arsenic-induced cancers."

"While there are federal limits for arsenic in drinking water," the story goes on, "there aren’t many standards for arsenic in food. Earlier this year, Consumer Reports found worrisome levels of arsenic in apple and grape juices and called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to set limits for arsenic in those juices. Based on its latest findings and analysis, Consumer Reports is asking the government to take additional steps, including urging the FDA to set limits for arsenic in rice and rice products."
KC's View:
I have to say that I love this paragraph from the Post story...

The FDA said its testing of rice products yielded similar results. But while Consumer Reports recommends that consumers reduce their rice consumption for now, the FDA does not advise a change in eating habits. It plans to test 1,000 rice samples in addition to the 200 it has already analyzed before making a recommendation late next year.

The wheels of bureaucracy grind exceedingly slow....