London, Mar 31 : Unsafe levels of arsenic have been found in brands of baby food rice that are widely sold in British supermarkets, according to a team of researchers from Aberdeen University.
About a third of baby rice tested in the UK were found to have high levels of carcinogenic arsenic that may be illegal in other countries.
The team examined pure baby rice samples from national supermarket chains.
According to the researchers, a child eating three servings a day of the rice with the highest levels would have up to six times the maximum safe level of inorganic arsenic under EU water regulations.
"It is of considerable concern that food arsenic levels are not regulated in the EU," the Independent quoted Professor Andrew Meharg, lead researcher, as saying
"Thirty-five per cent of the baby food we analysed had levels of inorganic arsenic that would make them illegal in China," he added.
The increased levels have also been found in other baby rice foods such as puffed rice cereals, pasta, noodles, and puddings.
The study appears in the journal Environmental Pollution.