Paulson, a physician and chairman of the Council on Environmental Health at the American Academy of Pediatrics, said the levels of inorganic arsenic present in the foods the FDA tested are low, especially compared to Bangladesh, Chile and Taiwan. In those countries, Paulson said, inorganic arsenic is at such high levels in ground water that decades of consumption can lead to skin lesions as well as bladder and lung cancers.
“Certainly, this is not ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ where you drink a cup of tea then you keel over and die,” Paulson said, referring to the play and movie where arsenic is used as a poison. “We’re not at that level.”
The academy does strongly suggest that parents moderate their infants’ intake of rice cereal, but Paulson said that is a precautionary message since young children in the United States typically only eat rice cereal for less than a year.