You probably noticed the popular rice products for children in the markets. New studies say that rice cakes can be harmful to children, as they contain a carcinogenic substance.

After examining more than a hundred products, the National Food Agency in Sweden found presence of carcinogenic arsenic in rice cakes.

After seeing the results, the food safety organization issued a statement which reviewed the dietary recommendations on rice, advising that children should avoid eating rice porridge, rice noodles or the popular Rice Crispies more than four times a week. Rice cakes should be completely avoided! “We already knew that rice contains arsenic. What we know now is that some products on the market contains fairly high levels of it. Among other things, we have now advised against children under six eating rice cakes. For everyone else, rice cakes are OK in moderation, but it depends on the amount of rice products consumed overall,” says Emma Halldin Ankarberg, a toxicologist at the NFA. Adults eating rice more than seven times a week are also advised to cut down their rice intake. Halldin Ankarberg says that it’s best to reduce rice intake immediately if you eat more than the recommended doses of rice.

Popular rice products like the Rice Crispies, Boots baby organic rice cakes and Organix First Wholegrain Baby Rice were among the products with a higher than usual arsenic concentration.

Arsenic and rice

Arsenic is a strong carcinogen capable of creating tumors in the skin, lungs, bladder, liver, kidneys and prostate. Chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic can lead to cardiovascular disease, liver damage, chronic cough, diabetes and several neurological effects, especially in kids.

The presence of inorganic arsenic in rice cakes has recently been gaining more and more attention. The concentration in rice varies depending on the variety, cultivation area and methods as well as preparation.