Posted by Claudia Grazioso on March 15, 2012
File this one under YIKES: A recent study by scientists at Dartmouth University has discovered that organic brown rice syrup, which is frequently used in manufacturing “healthy” cereal bars and snacks, has high levels of arsenic. And what else is organic brown rice syrup sometimes used in? Ominous drum roll please… baby formula.
The results of this troubling study, which were published online by Environmental Health Perspectives, indicate that there are high levels of arsenic in the infant formulas that contain organic brown rice syrup. Researchers tested over a dozen kinds of infant formula for arsenic, and mostly found only trace elements of the toxic metallic chemical. But when they tested two kinds of infant formula that contain organic brown rice syrup, the results were much different. Both kinds had over 20 times more arsenic than the baby formulas that didn’t contain the syrup. And one of them had twice as much arsenic as the government allows to be in bottled water. What’s especially troubling is that organic brown rice syrup is often used as an alternative to high fructose corn syrup. So parents who are looking for a healthy alternative to high fructose corn syrup might inadvertently be giving their children food with high levels of a toxic chemical in it.
Arsenic has been linked to cancer, but the long-term impact on developing neurological systems is not yet known. Still, many in the medical community feel that it is cause for concern and as a mom, I certainly feel that any exposure to arsenic is too much for an infant who is still developing and growing. If you are currently formula feeding a baby or infant, read the label on your formula of choice. My infant days are behind me, but I know that the next time I go shopping for those healthier snack bars to toss in my kids’ lunch boxes, I’ll be reading the labels, too. And organic brown rice syrup is now on my no-no list.