Photo by NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images.
"Organic" doesn’t always mean "healthy," something made abundantly clear by a new study out Thursday from Dartmouth University.
Researchers found that some organic infant formulas, cereal bars and energy shots contained significantly higher levels of arsenic than the EPA allows in drinking water. The researchers did not name the brands of the tested products but indicated that a wide range of brands had been used and were purchased from various stores in Hanover, N.H.
The arsenic came from organic brown rice syrup, a sweetener that is commonly found in gluten-free and organic products. Ingesting high levels of arsenic over time can increase risks of cancer and heart disease, and cause intellectual development problems in young children.
The results may come to a surprise to well-intentioned parents and health freaks alike, who are accustomed to believing the mantra that organic is always the safer food choice. Brian Jackson, who led the study, suggested that since there are currently no regulations for arsenic levels in food, parents who are concerned about their children's exposure to arsenic should not give them foods where brown rice syrup is the main ingredient.
You can read the study in its entirety here.