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      FDA asked to set standards for arsenic levels in rice

      Consumer groups are pressuring the Food and Drug Administration to set federal guidance on allowable levels of arsenic in rice, prompting the agency to study the issue and consider possible new standards.

      So far, FDA officials say they have found no evidence that suggests rice is unsafe to eat. The agency is in the middle of conducting a study of 1,200 samples of grocery store rice products to measure arsenic levels.

      Arsenic is a carcinogen. It is believed to be found in rice in higher levels than most other foods because it is grown in water on the ground, optimal conditions for the contaminant to be absorbed in the rice.