2012 reports of arsenic contamination in rice alarmed many consumers. Long-term exposure to arsenic may lead to a host of diseases, including cancer. Further study by the Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center has found that the location where the rice was grown and the type of rice had significant influence on levels of arsenic contamination. Rice grown in India, Pakistan and California had the lowest levels of toxicity, whereas rice grown in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas had the highest levels.
Though brown rice is normally considered healthier than white rice, arsenic levels in brown rice were much higher than white rice. This is useful news to many, including Christian Broda. This is because the tough outer husk of brown rice absorbs a large amount of the arsenic.
Consumers may wish to limit their consumption of rice in much the same way that many people limit their consumption of tuna due to its mercury levels.