www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov -- At one point during the reign of King Cotton, farmers in the south central United States controlled boll weevils with arsenic-based pesticides, and residual arsenic still contaminates the soil. Today, rice paddies cover fields where cotton once grew, and a large market basket survey published in the 1 April 2007 issue of Environmental Science & Technology now shows that rice grown in this area contains, on average, 1.76 times more arsenic than rice grown in California. With rice consumption increasing steadily in the United States, high-rice diets may be of concern, says principal investigator Andrew Meharg, chair of biogeochemistry at the University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom.
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