Arsenic is a naturally occurring substance, and in the environment, and even naturally occurring in some foods (for instance, in apricot kernels – which are also very high in Vitamin B). But there is evidence of an increasing amount of arsenic in rice, and the occurrence is not natural. As a matter of fact, it may be contributing to various sicknesses – including cancer.
The federal government and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have (in the past) been charged with protecting the American people and their health (along with other agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)). Unbelievably, “they” monitor (attempt to monitor) the levels of arsenic in water – but not in food. This is a minor oversight, but serves as an example, that no large, bureaucratic agency is capable of adapting to the needs of over 307 million Americans.
State and local governments are more apt and able to be in tune to the needs of the people – including keeping an eye on levels of arsenic in the water and the land that we grow our food in. In addition to this – to mimic what Dr. Oz said this morning – consumers can “nudge” companies to change their practices and make sure that we hold companies accountable to us – the consumer. After all, we are buying their product and contributing to their bottom line. That creates instant solutions – by people voting with their dollar and holding companies accountable for the toxins they put into the environment and the food that they produce. That is quick, smart, and a natural way to change this bad situation. It is, in essence, letting the free market work. We, as consumers, hold immense amounts of power. Because, we at any time, can stop buying their products.
This news about arsenic levels is not surprising – the United States’ centralized food supply is dangerous to our economy, our health, and the environment. News like this can encourage us to know our farmers, know our producers, and hold companies accountable for what they are doing. It can also show us that the centralized bureaucracy at the federal level of government does nothing to protect us – our State and local governments are better able to serve our needs when it comes to our health and wellness.