The issue of arsenic, mainly in rice cereal, has been discussed on this blog: Arsenic in Rice –New Recommendations
Renewed widespread publicity on this is likely following a recent NY Times Article: Should You Be Worried About the Arsenic in Your Baby Food?
Here’s an excerpt:
Rice cereal is often a baby’s first solid food, but it contains relatively high amounts of arsenic, a source of growing concern…rice cereals still contain six times more inorganic arsenic, on average, than infant cereals made with other grains like barley or oatmeal.
The new report comes from Healthy Babies Bright Futures, an alliance of scientists, nonprofit groups and private donors that aims to reduce children’s exposures to chemicals that may harm developing brains. One step parents can take immediately to reduce children’s exposure to arsenic is to feed infants cereals made with other grains, the group suggests…
For years, pediatricians have encouraged parents to introduce babies to a wide variety of grains in order to minimize exposure to arsenic…
The Healthy Babies Bright Futures alliance … found that over all, oatmeal, barley, buckwheat, organic quinoa, wheat and rice-free multigrain baby cereals contained much lower amounts of inorganic arsenic than rice cereals..
The average level of arsenic in the rice cereals tested recently was 85 parts per billion, down from an average level of 103 parts per billion found by the F.D.A. when it tested baby cereals in 2013 and 2014…
To reduce your family’s exposure to arsenic, the report suggests choosing a variety of grains including those low in arsenic.
My take: While the levels of arsenic are low, for the infants who are likely more vulnerable, it makes sense to recommend oatmeal cereal rather than rice cereal when introducing solid foods.