Health risks posed by rice additives

Confusing Rice Addictives

An expert has stated that newly published regulations allow for dangerous antiseptics to be used in rice production, that could be harmful to human health, the Beijing News reported Friday.

The new Standards for the Uses of Food Additives, issued by the Ministry of Health on May 13, state that three new additives including sodium diacetate – a kind of antiseptic – are now authorized for use in the production of rice.

An expert, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the newspaper Friday that antiseptics were unnecessary for rice production, that no other country permitted this usage, and that such additives in food exposed consumers to increased health risks.
“Starch and protein, the two major components of rice, are stable in a normal environment, which means that the rice can be kept without the use of antiseptics,” Zeng Xibo, a researcher from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, told the Global Times on Friday.

Zeng added that the new standards might lead certain rice manufacturers to exceed safe doses of antiseptics in rice, thus leading to health risks.
“Since most rice in the market now is safe, the government should remove this permission for unnecessary additives and be cautious in formulating food production standards,” Zeng said to the Global Times Friday.

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