February 20, 2012
With the growing awareness that toxic artificial sweeteners  like aspartame  are seriously compromising the health of the population, more and more companies are transitioning to more natural, healthy sweeteners. The transition is undoubtedly a positive one, but research has shown that the process of using other sweeteners sometimes leads to higher levels of other toxic compounds.
Sweetener Ingredient Used in Infant Formula and Energy Bars Found to Contain Arsenic
Research has recently found that organic brown rice syrup, the sweetener many companies are switching to, has significant concentrations  of a heavy metal known as arsenic. In some instances, arsenic was found at levels 6 times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘safe limit’ of arsenic in drinking water.
The findings came after arsenic content was analyzed in a range of products made with and without brown rice syrup. An analysis of three different brown rice syrups found that total arsenic concentrations ranged from 80 to 400 nanograms per gram. Researchers found that the proportion of organic arsenic was between 80 and 90 percent of the total arsenic level for 2 of the 3 syrups., while the 3rd syrup was made up of 50 percent.
Brian Jackson and his colleagues also tested 17 baby formulas – 15 of which dd not contain organic brown rice syrup. Baby formulas containing the sweetener ended up having 20 times higher arsenic concentrations than the formula without the sweetener.
Since organic brown rice syrup is increasingly being used in organic food products, the researchers suspect arsenic levels to increase from diet. Unfortunately, certain baby formulas and energy bars — two products often containing brown rice syrup — aren’t the only carriers of arsenic. Arsenic has also been found in many apple juice brands on numerous occasions. After hiring an independent lab to test apple juice, Dr. Oz, concluded that many apple juice brands  contain high amounts of arsenic. Similarly, both apple juice and grape juice were found to be contaminated with arsenic  by Consumer Reports.
The growing concern over arsenic exposure and arsenic poisoning is very real. Our bodies are being exposed to heavy metals in amounts that, in some cases, don’t exceed the “safety” limit put in place by government organizations. But with compounded ‘small amounts’ of exposure, our bodies are being completely invaded by these heavy metals in a very large way.
To reduce exposure, educate yourself on where arsenic may reside. Performing a heavy metal cleanse, buying a water and shower filter, and avoiding processed food are great steps to reducing arsenic exposure. Mothers should also breast feed babies instead of giving them infant formula or baby food, which has also been found to contain arsenic .
This article first appeared at Natural Society