Gerber Reassures Parents of Rice Cereal Safety
For more than 80 years, parents and caregivers have trusted Gerber to consistently provide high-quality, safe and nutritious products. We are committed to maintaining that trust.
All Gerber products are safe to consume, including Gerber rice cereal and Gerber SmartNourish organic brown rice cereal. All of the rice ingredients used in Gerber products are sourced from rice grown in the United States. Gerber monitors and controls for arsenic in our rice ingredients, as arsenic can occur naturally in rice through the growing process. Any ingredient that does not meet our high standards for quality is rejected. Although our products are safe to consume, we recognize some consumers may have concerns about arsenic in foods. Therefore, earlier this year, we decided to exclusively use California rice in all of our rice-containing dry infant cereal. We chose California rice because California has the lowest arsenic levels for rice grown in the United States.
It is important to recognize that some arsenic is unavoidable in the food supply because it occurs in soil, air and water. As a result, low levels of this substance can be found in many nutritious foods and beverages. It is not possible to completely eliminate arsenic in food and it has not been determined that there is any safety concern.
The FDA, the federal government agency responsible for protecting public health, has been monitoring arsenic in the US food supply for more than twenty years.1 The FDA has consistently advised that families should not make dietary changes based on presence of the low levels of arsenic in rice and rice based products.
Generations of babies have benefited from iron-fortified infant cereals that provide many important nutrients for infant development, particularly iron. Gerber infant rice cereals are a nutritious first solid food for babies starting around six months of age. Two daily servings of Gerber infant cereals provide 90 percent of baby’s daily iron needs as well as other essential vitamins and minerals including zinc and several B vitamins.
We encourage consumers to contact us if they have questions or concerns at 1-800-462-5046, or Gerber.com, any time, day or night.
1 Total Diet Study. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 2010. Accessed September 17, 2012 at: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FoodContaminantsAdulteration/TotalDietStudy/default.htm.