Parents warned against giving their young children rice milk
Parents are being urged not to give their children rice milk.
The FSAI has shared a warning with parents against giving young children the drink.
The FSAI says children aged up to 4.5 years of age should not consume rice milk.
It should not be used as a substitute for cows' milk or breast milk.
It should also not be used as a substitute for infant formula.
The reason for this warning is due to low levels of inorganic arsenic found in rice milk.
The FSAI has discovered that a rice-based infant and follow-on formula, Prémibio Prémiriz is available to buy online.
"Such infant formulas are not legally permitted to be sold on the European market."
This is because they don't meet “the legal compositional and nutritional requirements for infants”.
The FSAI has contacted authorities in the United Kingdom to discontinue sales of the products.
It has also reached out to the other Member States.
It is also contacting the relevant hospitals and health professionals.
Dr. Pamela Byrne said: "Rice-based infant formula and follow-on formula are not legally permitted to be sold on the European market."
This is because "they do not meet infants’ nutritional requirements".
There is also a concern around the inorganic arsenic content of rice-based products for young kids.
"Low levels of inorganic arsenic have been detected in rice milk in the past.
"Infants and young children up to 4.5 years are not exposed to these products," Dr. Byrne suggested.
"The inorganic form is the more toxic form," she explained.
"Exposure to this should be kept as low as reasonably practicable."