The agency released a draft guidance to the industry that would cap inorganic arsenic levels at 100 parts per billion (ppb). Most cereals already meet that limit, or come close to it.

 The agency is directing the industry to seek out rice sources that have the smallest amount of inorganic arsenic to use in its cereal products, according to Susan Mayne, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. [1]

Gerber issued a press release saying that its cereal already meets the limit proposed by the FDA.

The proposed limit was sparked by the results of testing of rice and non-rice products, as well as a 2016 agency risk assessment on the link between inorganic arsenic exposure and adverse pregnancy outcomes and neurological effects in early life.

The FDA tested 76 samples of infant rice cereal from retail stores and discovered that close to half of them met the agency’s proposed limit on inorganic arsenic. More than 3/4 of the samples had levels at or below 110 ppb.

The agency is not recommending that the general population change the amount of rice they consume, but said it was offering targeted information for pregnant women and infants to limit their exposure.


Major Hemp Bill Unanimously Moves Forward in Hawaii


Great news has arrived for small farmers who want to grow industrial hemp (the close, non-psychoactive cousin to marijuana, with both being derived from the cannabis plant). A bill to allow private farmers to grow and sell industrial hemp through permits from the state’s Department of Agriculture (HB 2555) has unanimously passed the Hawaii State House of Representatives and will go to the Senate.

Hemp differs from marijuana because it contains a minuscule amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the substance which gives marijuana psychoactive properties. This new legislation is an enormous sea-change for farmers who have been prohibited from growing hemp due to laws erroneously suggesting that hemp was a drug.


IAEA: Iran Provides Sizable Amount of Info for Nuclear Probe

We need to see the whole picture to have an assessment,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation board, convened to seek approval — and funds — for the agency’s assigned task of monitoring the July 14 Iran nuclear deal.

That deal between Iran and six world powers seeks to crimp Iran’s present nuclear programs that could be turned to making nuclear arms in exchange for sanctions relief for Iran, and is formally separate from the IAEA probe of the suspected past weapons work.

But Amano must make a determination by Dec. 15 on whether or not the allegations are true for full sanctions easing to kick in, and has signed an arrangement with Iran that commits Tehran to cooperate with the probe.

Tehran has long described the allegations as based on false intelligence from the United States,Israel and other adversaries, and the arrangement is a test of whether the IAEA will be able to progress after nearly a decade of essential deadlock in trying to follow up on the suspicions.