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USA Today reports that a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests “that women who ate the national average of half a cup of cooked rice a day in the two days prior to urine collection, ingested an amount of arsenic equivalent to drinking four and a quarter cups of water a day containing arsenic at the maximum allowable level set by the EPA.

“The findings are worrisome enough that researchers are calling on the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the amount of allowable arsenic in rice.”

The story notes that “very high-dose exposure to arsenic in places like Bangladesh has been related to infant mortality and low birth weight, but effects at levels more typical of the USA are not known.”

Stacy Fitzgerald-Redd of the USA Rice Federation tells USA Today that "there's never been a study that showed that arsenic levels in rice were at a level where consumers should be concerned, or where there would be any cause to panic ... There has never been a definitive study that suggests that rice consumption either in the U.S. or parts of Asia has led to adverse health effects.”
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