Against the grain

Ten per cent of rice sold in UK supermarkets contains 10 times the levels of arsenic allowed in China. Most rice contains some arsenic, a poisonous element and arsenic is present in many foods. However rice is grown in flooded fields so the arsenic naturally present in the soil is absorbed by the plants through the water. Long term exposure increases the risk of skin, lung and bladder cancer so the Food standard Agency says if you want to eat rice more than three times a week, consider switching to Thai or Indian grown rice which have lower levels of arsenic.

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