Fast action on arsenic in food!
By Consumers Union on Monday, October 1st, 2012
The latest issue of Consumer Reports features a powerful report on the presence of arsenic in rice and makes recommendations to both consumers and the government. Almost immediately, the FDA took steps to address the problem and lawmakers filed bills. We’re a long way from real reform, but this was a big first step.
This early victory is yours as much as it is ours. So what has happened so far?
When the story broke, the Washington Post wrote a piece essentially crediting CR with getting the government to commit to setting standards for arsenic in rice and prompting them to release their own data on the same day.
Now, three members of Congress have introduced legislation setting limits on arsenic in rice, crediting Consumer Reports for prompting the move, as noted in The Los Angeles Times. The Chicago Tribune reports that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan released separate findings and called on the FDA to set limits.
Perhaps most important, our “tips” on how to reduce your arsenic intake — like using a lot more water when you cook rice — have been heard or seen by millions. The Today Show covered our findings in an eight minute segment that also featured Dr. Mehmet Oz reinforcing our advice. In fact, all three morning shows and the evening news reported on the study and featured our chief scientist, Dr. Urvashi Rangan.
Our tips reached moms and families through a range of alternative media outlets (Mother Nature Network), activist blogs (Mother Jones) and food writers (New York Times’ Mark Bittman tweeted our action to the government). We are helping to generate an incredible movement for change.
We are so grateful for your support, and we hope to continue working with you to improve the marketplace and serve consumers for many more years to come.