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Doctor: Arsenic levels in rice not a cause for concern

Consumer groups are calling for new standards on levels of arsenic in the rice people eat, but one Valley doctor doesn’t feel it’s necessary.

Dr. Stephen Curry, a toxicologist at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, said arsenic is very common in the world.

“All food will contain arsenic to some extent and all the air we are breathing right now will contain some arsenic,” said Curry.

Curry would support an arsenic standard when it comes to food transport or farm contamination. He said he would not hesitate to eat rice or feed it to his kids, however.

“Cutting back on rice or cutting back on specific foods would be, with regard to arsenic concerns, would be probably one least effective or important things you could consider,” said Curry.

According to Curry, arsenic is already surrounding people organically. It’s in the air, in our blood and on our dinner plates. He said it’s more likely to die from some other cause.

The Food and Drug Administration holds no evidence that rice is unsafe to eat because of arsenic levels.