|A Message from America’s Rice Farmers|
America’s rice farmers and rice companies take pride in giving consumers wholesome, high quality and nutritious rice. We know that arsenic is an alarming word for many consumers and that you may have questions. We want you to know what steps the rice industry is taking to address concerns raised about arsenic in rice, and to provide you with information to help you gain knowledge and feel confident about continuing to feed your family U.S. grown rice.
First, it is important for you to know that arsenic is a naturally occurring element that has been unavoidably present everywhere in the environment for thousands of years – it’s in air, water, rocks and soil, which is how all plant foods, including rice, take it up, regardless of whether the farming method is conventional or organic. All plant foods contain some level of arsenic.
Rice is a primary food source for billions of people around the globe and it is and always has been a wholesome, nutritious food. There is overwhelming food safety, nutrition, scientific and medical evidence that supports that diets rich in fruits, vegetables and grains, like rice, are beneficial to the health of consumers.
In light of concerns about arsenic in rice, we have been working with federal regulators, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as they monitor the level of arsenic in food. The industry has submitted rice samples for arsenic testing and supplied information regarding rice production to assist in this effort. We believe that U.S. grown rice is already safe, but we are always looking at ways to make it safer. For that reason, we will continue to stay engaged with FDA, EPA and others as they do further study.
We are unaware of any consumers being harmed by arsenic in rice. Scientists will continue to study how the human body processes arsenic in food and water, and will assess if there is any long-term risk in order to provide dietary guidance if appropriate. Currently there is not sufficient data about arsenic levels in rice or potential risk to human health on which to base any recommendations to lower consumption or stop eating rice.
We are committed to maintaining the safety of this vital food source and will continue to work to that end, partnering with researchers, federal regulators and others to ensure that rice remains a safe, wholesome and nutritious food.
America’s Rice Farmers and Rice Companies
About the U.S Rice CropEighty-five percent of the rice consumed in the U.S. is grown in the U.S. Each year, America’s ten thousand rice farmers grow some 20 billion pounds of short-, medium-, and long-grain rice, as well as organic and specialty rice such as jasmine, basmati and Arborio,in seven states including Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas, according to the highest-quality and wholesomeness standards. Look for the “Grown in the USA” logo on packages of 100-percent U.S.-grown rice.
About USA Rice
The USA Rice Federation is the global advocate for all segments of the U.S. rice industry. We represent rice farmers, millers, merchants and allied businesses. Visit us at usarice.com, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.