News / Health

US Study: High Levels of Lead Found in Imported Rice

US Study Finds High Levels of Lead in Imported Ricei
X
April 12, 2013 11:26 PM
Contamination of rice is once again causing concern for farmers and consumers. A U.S. study, by scientists in New Jersey, has found high levels of lead in imported rice, including in some baby food. This follows studies last year in which arsenic was found in rice and rice products. As VOA's Robert Raffaele explains, the problems are especially serious because of the growing worldwide dependence on rice.
VOA's Robert Raffaele reports on the issue.
VOA News
A new study by a team of scientists in the United States shows rice imported from certain countries contains high levels of lead that could pose health risks for infants and children,

Scientists analyzed rice imported into the U.S. from Asia, Europe and South America. They say rice samples from Taiwan and China had the highest lead levels.

Overall, the team found lead levels ranging from six to 12 milligrams per kilogram, with some of the highest amounts in baby food.

The lead researcher, Tsanangurayi Tongesayi, says daily exposure by infants and children to the rice products would be 30 to 60 times higher than levels considered tolerable by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  He says Asian infants and children are at twice as much risk, because of their higher rice consumption.

The imported rice accounts for only seven percent of all rice consumed in the U.S. However, the study says that due to increasing imports, the rice still found its way into U.S. supermarket chains and restaurants, as well as ethnic specialty markets.

Researchers also found significantly high lead levels in rice samples from the Czech Republic, Bhutan, Italy, India and Thailand.

Analysis of rice from Pakistan, Brazil and other countries is still under way.

The study was presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans.

Caroline Smith DeWaal is with the non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington. She says rice poses a unique problem as a staple food worldwide.

"Rice is like a sponge for environmental contaminants, like lead or arsenic," said  DeWaal. "If it's present in the soil, if it's present in the water where the rice is being grown, those contaminants are easily absorbed into the rice. "

You May Like

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down nearly three percent, while US market indexes were off around two percent in early trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs