19:07 GMT17 February 2020
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    The proposed rule would limit arsenic in infant cereal to 100 parts per billion.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Baby food manufacturers in the United States are being told to limit the amount of arsenic in rice cereal, and mothers advised to consider safer grains such as oats and barley for their children, the US Food and Drug Administration said in a proposed regulation published on Friday.

    "The proposed limit is a prudent and achievable step to reduce exposure to arsenic among infants," FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Director Susan Mayne said in a press release accompanying the proposal.

    Arsenic is an element that occurs naturally in the Earth’s surface and is naturally absorbed in minute amounts in many crops.

    The proposed rule, which requires a 90 day period of public comment before becoming final, would limit arsenic in infant cereal to 100 parts per billion.

    About half of the infant rice cereals tested complied with the limit, the FDA said.

    The release advised new mothers and pregnant women to alter their diets to include other grains, warning that arsenic can cause neurological damage in babies.

    The FDA found all the non-rice foods tested to be well below 100 parts-per-billion limit, providing low-arsenic options that the agency said should be part of a balanced diet.


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