Additional maximum levels for inorganic arsenic in food
The Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SC PAFF) adopted maximum levels for inorganic arsenic in several products on October 19th, 2022. Affected are food for infants and young children, fruit juices and nectars, rice flour and rice drinks and salt. At the same time, existing maximum levels for milled, uncooked rice will be lowered further.
Arsenic is a natural element and occurs in soil, groundwater and plants. Inorganic arsenic compounds are considered carcinogenic, so intake of these compounds should be minimized. Since rice absorbs a lot of arsenic from soil and water due to the special cultivation method and its physiology compared to other cereals, maximum levels have been in place for rice and various rice products for some time. These are now being lowered further due to the concern of the substance.
For products sold as baby food, special consideration must be given to the sensitive consumer group. Most baby food must not exceed an arsenic level of 0.020mg/kg. Rice used for the production of baby food must be tested below 0.1mg/kg.
Food that was lawfully placed on the market prior to the effective date of the regulation may remain on the market until the expiration of its best before or use by date.
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