FAYETTEVILLE, AR -- (May 23, 2013) -- USA Rice Federation President and CEO Betsy Ward was the keynote speaker yesterday at the 20th anniversary celebration of the University of Arkansas Rice Processing Program Industry Alliance Meeting. Attendees included rice industry members, end users and researchers. Ward provided an overview of the industry's actions to address arsenic in rice, including USA Rice's cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other government agencies as they investigate the issue. She told attendees that FDA is expected to soon release arsenic test results on more than 1,200 additional rice samples and this data will help inform the development of a risk analysis for rice, possibly by the end of the year or in early 2014. Ward also detailed research projects underway on agronomic conditions and processing and their impact on arsenic levels in rice.
Dr. Clarence Watson, associate vice president for agriculture and research, opened the session and gave an overview of new rice resources and capabilities within the university's agricultural program. Ward's talk followed a presentation on arsenic chemistry and plant uptake by Dr. Trent Roberts, assistant professor of Crop, Soil and Environmental Science at the university.
The Rice Processing Program, led by Dr. Terry Siebenmorgen, strives to conduct research to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of current processing operations and to provide fundamental information in the development of new products and processes.
The Industry Alliance Meeting also included talks on breeding high quality rice and on-farm drying. The meeting concludes today.
Photo caption: Betsy Ward