Here is a thorough article about the dangers of arsenic (especially inorganic) in food, especially rice especially for babies and small kids. I have clipped just the beginning paragraphs. Click here for the full article with many useful links.
Rice is a staple and popular food used on a daily basis throughout the world. Rice can be made into cereals, syrups, powders and more and this is where the concern lies. There has been some heavy controversy around the world about rice and various rice products, including those produced from organic rice , being contaminated with high levels of Arsenic. But by far the biggest concern is that many baby and toddler food products and formulas that are manufactured using brown rice and rice bran syrup, both which contain higher than considered safe levels of arsenic, with rice syrup having the very highest level.
Governments throughout the world are concerned about babies and children under the 4-5 year old age bracket, who consume, often on a daily basis, a lot of rice products e.g baby rice cereals, rice syrup sweetened infant formulas and rice milks as a substitute for cows and soy milks.
For older children and adults it is believed that the amount of arsenic in rice does not pose as big of a health risk, due to a higher body weight in relation to the amount of arsenic consumed. But for babies and children they are much smaller, so the ratio of arsenic intake to body weight works our far greater. Also, as nowadays many youngsters are intolerant to cows milk and soy products, they are therefore consuming much larger quantities of rice milk and other rice products than an adult generally would. I too, had been giving my young children a glass of organic rice milk each day, and plenty of my organic puffed rice, chia seed, slice, so you can imagine that I took investigating and writing about this issue of arsenic in rice very seriously.
I no longer believe (as this author does) that brown rice is necessarily more nutritious than white… But this information is very useful. Looks like my family practice of buying good quality (white) basmati from North India and Pakistan is a good one. Traditional values rule 🙂 It’s heartbreaking to read about the Bangladeshi rice being contaminated through groundwater.
Although brown rice is healthier from a nutritional value, it does contain significantly higher levels of arsenic than white rice. This is due to the fact that arsenic concentrates in the outer layer of rice bran. So if you want to eat rice, choose organic white rice and don’t eat it every day. Also it seems that where your rice is grown makes a notable difference, with Himalayan, (N. India, N. Pakistan, and Nepal) rice having the lowest levels of arsenic and US, EU and As-groundwater impacted Bangladesh rice having the highest.