Gerber arsenic rice cereal safety

arsenic rice cereal safety


A recent report has raised some questions about the safety of rice cereal. We recognize the headlines are alarming, and I want to personally reassure you that when it comes to your little one, Gerber never compromises on quality or safety. Our infant rice cereals are safe for your baby.

You carefully consider every bite your baby eats, and so do we. That’s why we monitor and test our rice ingredients and cereals for safety. We test for levels of substances like arsenic, which can occur naturally in soil and water and enter into crops, such as rice, as they grow. In 2017, all of our test results found arsenic levels for rice used in our infant rice cereals were below the proposed FDA guidance level of 100 ppb.

In addition to testing, we work closely with trusted rice growers and suppliers to find approaches to grow the safest rice possible. Today, we use rice for our infant cereal that contains some of the lowest levels achievable in this country. We also work closely with agricultural researchers at universities to explore and apply new methods to advance rice safety.  

Generations of babies have benefited from the iron and essential nutrients contained in our rice cereals, which are critical to baby’s healthy growth and development. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to feed babies a well-balanced diet, which includes iron-rich infant cereals from a variety of grains, and we agree. Gerber offers a number of wholesome iron-fortified cereal options for parents to choose from, including Oatmeal, Multi-Grain, Barley, Wheat and Rice.

We’re parents too, and it’s our mission to provide the best for baby. So, if you’ve got questions, we’re here with answers. Call our Parents Resource Center, day or night, at 1-844-796-5723.

Bill Partyka
CEO & Chief Parent Officer

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I heard there is arsenic in your rice cereal. Is this true?

A.  We know the headlines are scary, but the truth isn’t. Our rice cereals are safe and meet the latest proposed guidance from the FDA. Arsenic occurs naturally in the soil and water, so it can get into foods as they grow, but don’t worry, we test for such elements and apply some of the best growing and sourcing practices to minimize the presence of arsenic. Our standards for quality are among the strictest in the world, because we refuse to compromise on the health and safety of babies.

Q. How do chemicals like arsenic get in your cereals?

A.  Arsenic is a naturally occurring element in the environment – it’s in our soil and water. Because of how rice is grown, the grain is more likely to absorb this element from the soil than other grains. 

We know that can sound scary, but there is no need to worry. At Gerber, we set our own rigorous standards and review them often, to make sure we are doing our very best. We use high quality and safe ingredients and test them utilizing proposed guidance from the FDA. The result is that all our rice cereals meet the latest proposed U.S. government standards.

Q. Why can’t you get arsenic levels to zero? 

A. Trace amounts of arsenic occur naturally in our environment, so it’s possible they can be found in foods grown in water and soil, such as fruits, vegetables and grains. But rest assured, because of our rigorous growing, sourcing and testing standards, we have rice cereals that contain among the lowest levels achievable. At Gerber, we review our standards regularly to make sure we are doing our very best.  

Q: Should I stop feeding my baby rice cereal? 

A: Our infant rice cereals are safe. All of our testing from 2017 demonstrates that our rice cereals fall within the proposed guidance from the FDA.

We know it is important for parents to have options, and we support the guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics that encourages parents to feed babies a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of grains. This is why Gerber offers a number of wholesome iron-fortified cereal options for parents to choose from, including Oatmeal, Multi-Grain, Barley and Rice.

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