Third District congressperson Rosa DeLauro said in a release today that she was planning to legislate rice. Or, well, the arsenic contained in rice.
“The idea that high levels of arsenic, a known carcinogen, are present in rice, cereal and other common, everyday foods is absolutely outrageous,” DeLauro said Friday in a release. “The federal government has an obligation to every American family to ensure that the food they consume is safe and should not make them sick. This is not the first time we have been alerted to the dangers of arsenic, and quite simply we must do more to ensure that our food supply is safe. This bill is a step in that direction.”
DeLauro will introduce the RICE Act with Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Nita Lowey (D-NY).
“The recent Consumer Reports investigation finding of measurable amounts of arsenic in a range of rice products is cause for concern for consumers, and parents in particular,” Pallone said. “The health risks associated with inorganic arsenic as a carcinogen are widely known and there absolutely should be a federal arsenic standard for rice products similar to those for bottled water.”
“Ensuring the safety of our food supply is among the most important responsibilities of the federal government,” Lowey said. “It is inexcusable that no standards exist to keep arsenic, a known carcinogen, out of rice and rice-based products like cereal. This legislation will help protect families from this unacceptable risk.”
As the release says, "The R.I.C.E Act (Reducing food-based Inorganic and organic Compounds Exposure Act) requires the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to set a maximum permissible level of arsenic in rice and food containing rice. FDA currently has standards for bottled water, but nothing else."
The Consumer Reports investigation found arsenic in more than 200 samples of rice and rice-based products. Arsenic is known to contribute to the likelihood of developing multiple cancers and other serious health problems.
This isn't the first time that DeLauro has attempted to limit the consumption of arsenic found in common food items.
In February, the three legislators introduced the Arsenic Prevention and Protection from Lead Exposure in Juice Act of 2012 or “APPLE Juice Act” which would require the FDA to establish standards for arsenic and lead in fruit juices.
Initiatives no one could vote against, particularly with those spiffy acronyms.
Labels: arsenic, R.I.C.E Act, Rosa Delauro