The use of organic brown rice syrup has a sweetener has been touted as a healthy alternative to using refined sugar as a sweetener. Some companies now manufacture products such as infant formula that replace sweeteners such as corn syrup with organic brown rice syrup. A new study indicates that the organic product may have problems as far as our health is concerned too.
Arsenic is considered a toxic substance and potentially carcinogenic as well. Long term exposure to high levels of arsenic can cause increased risk of several types of cancer. Rice is quite efficient in taking up arsenic from the soil. No doubt the organic brown rice syrup studied must have been grown in areas where arsenic is contained naturally in the soil.
Unfortunately, there are no U.S. or Canadian regulations that set maximum levels of arsenic in food. The authors of the study in the Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives write: "Our findings suggest that the organic brown rice syrup products we evaluated may introduce significant concentrations of inorganic arsenic to an individual's diet. Thus, we conclude that there is an urgent need for regulatory limits on arsenic in food."
Dr. Karl Kabasele CBC medical expert said that he would not say that organic brown rice syrup is unsafe. However he also noted that children exposed to high levels of arsenic in ground water had their growth and also their IQ effect. Hence he admits consuming large amounts of the syrup over a long period could be problematic. Obviously more studies need to be done and standards set in the light of those studies. For more see this article..