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Arsenic in Rice & Rice Bran Oil -- bottle of rice bran oil, grains of rice and bowl of rice bran


Some rice and products made from rice, like rice cakes, flour and cereals, have been found to contain a considerable amount of the heavy metal arsenic - although only a few exceeded the cancer-warning threshold of the State of California (10 mcg per daily serving). routinely tests for arsenic (as well as lead and cadmium) in products that have the potential to be contaminated, including products which contain rice protein concentrate or rice bran, such as protein powders and greens and whole food powders and pills, as well as minerals and herbs.

Although arsenic can also occur in rice bran oil, it is believed to occur in much lower concentrations than in whole rice. One study of products in Japan found that rice bran oil contained only trace amounts of arsenic that were not of concern (0.03 mg/liter on average - equal to about 0.03 mg/kilogram) compared to much higher levels (0.14 to 0.28 mg/kilogram) found in products such as puffed rice, crackers and noodles (Sun, Environ Int 2009). These findings suggest that arsenic is not as easily taken up into the oily portion of rice as it is into other parts of the grain. It should also be kept in mind that rice bran oil is typically consumed in much smaller amounts than products made from whole rice products. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization have proposed a limit of 0.1 mg/kg of arsenic for rice bran oil (FAO/WHO Food Standards Program 2005) (which is about 3 times as high as that found in the Japanese study) although be aware that this standard does not currently apply to rice bran oil sold.

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July 1, 2015

Plants don't usually take up heavy metals, but rice is the exception. In the south rice is commonly grown in what were once cotton fields, which used arsenic as a pesticide. Source rice from Minnesota, Wisconsin, CA and you'll be safer :)
July 2, 2015

Hi Kim - Many plants do take up heavy metals, which is why tests all botanical products for heavy metals (lead, arsenic, and cadmium). Products for which we have reported heavy metal contamination include Cocoa Powders ( Green Tea (, Valerian (, Greens and Whole Food Powders (, and Maca (

June 29, 2015

Gratitude for all the information ~ Respectfully Regina Rizzo Erwood HHC,AADP

June 28, 2015

I eat Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Cakes quite often. Are these laden with arsenic as well? They are made in California. This is most troublesome. I look forward to your reply as this is my go-to snack.
November 16, 2015

Hi Deborah - Lundberg has published results for arsenic testing, which you can find here:

November 17, 2015

Do you think they're being objective? Testing their own products...makes me wonder.

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