A recent story shared via Facebook warns of the dangers of allowing children to eat rice cakes.

Warning To All Parents: Don’t Let Your Children Eat Rice Cakes.

Popular rice products found in grocery stores all over the world can be harmful to young children. A new study has found excessive levels of a carcinogenic substance in some well-known favorites and is issuing a warning to parents everywhere.

The story goes on to say

After examining 102 commercial rice products, the National Food Agency in Sweden found levels of the carcinogen arsenic in some cases too high

However, there is no link to the actual study (the link behind "this study" actually links to an English red-top news story).

Is there any truth to this story whatsoever? Do rice products routinely have high levels of arsenic? That's a bit subjective so by "high" are they in any way dangerous to children if eaten routinely/daily?

  • Considering you are a Britisher search for a documentary on Dispatches, most probably, where they have shown the arsenic content and affect on people. Rice cakes yes are a problem for children but not rice if cooked in a proper way. Basmati has the least amount of arsenic.
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 12:48
  • Eating cooked and boiled rice does not have arsenic levels only processed and packed rice products may be having arsenic,but raw rice does not contain arsenic and it completely depends on manufacturer in India and some southeastern countries live solely on rice of all age people
    – user7075
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 17:37

2 Answers 2


According to Consumer Reports, it depends on the rice used and how it's being served, but it's potentially a problem for children, especially babies, but not that much for adults.

We looked at data released by the Food and Drug Administration in 2013 on the inorganic arsenic content of 656 processed rice-containing products. We found that rice cereal and rice pasta can have much more inorganic arsenic—a carcinogen—than our 2012 data showed. According to the results of our new tests, one serving of either could put kids over the maximum amount of rice we recommend they should have in a week. Rice cakes supply close to a child's weekly limit in one serving. Rice drinks can also be high in arsenic, and children younger than 5 shouldn’t drink them instead of milk.


We used our new data and analysis to assign a point value to types of rice foods. On average, we recommend getting no more than 7 points per week. Risk analysis is based on weight, so a serving of any food will give children more points than adults.

Chart of acceptable levels of rice consumption

More detailed information on the levels found can be found on their Greener Choices site.

  • What does the data that Consumer Reports is referring to state?
    – Ruut
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 15:24
  • 1
    @Ruut: I've added a link at the end of my answer with their more detailed report (or rather a Wayback link to it since the link they provided no longer works). Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 16:05

This is based on an actual report.

The Swedish National Food Agency's 2015 study shows that a young child who eats two to four rice cakes a week is at risk of ingesting a lot of arsenic. Rice cakes provide almost no important nutrients and often contain salt. The Swedish National Food Agency therefore recommends that parents do not give rice cakes to children under the age of six.

It has this so say on the topic of routinely eating rice:

Eating rice and rice products a few times a week, which is what most people do in Sweden, does not constitute a health risk. But adults should not eat rice and rice products (rice pudding, rice noodles and rice snacks) every day. Children should not eat rice or rice products more than four times a week.

  • 2
    The article is actually ...very bad, full of "a lot of arsenic". There's a probably better scientific report linked. What does it say?
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 10:14
  • 1
    I seriously doubt most people in Sweden eat rice (products) a few times a week.
    – user5841
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 14:31
  • The article linked is also poorly sourced, and the "More Information" at the bottom of the page are in PDF format that isn't available in English.
    – Ruut
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 15:23
  • 2
    @Ruut One of the claims was that 'the National Food Agency in Sweden found levels of the carcinogen arsenic in some cases too high', so I provided a link to the Swedish National Food agency site. What better source could there be?
    – richardb
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 16:19

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