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DMU science expert to give free lecture on latest food safety research

A scientist from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) who established a link between arsenic and rice is to give a lecture on his latest findings on food safety as part of the British Science Week.

Professor Parvez Haris, head of the Biomedical Environmental Health Group at DMU, co-authored a study of more than 18,000 people which showed conclusively that those who ate large amounts of rice showed they had higher levels of arsenic in their system than those who did not.

 bowl-of-rice

Furthermore, those who ate more rice had more symptoms such as skin lesions, a sign of arsenic toxicity in the body.

To coincide with British Science Week, Professor Haris will, on March 16, be holding a free lecture called “Is what we are eating safe to eat?” at 6pm, in DMU’s Hugh Aston Building.

Professor Haris said: “Leicester is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the United Kingdom and foods from all over the world are imported into the city. 

“Some of the items imported and consumed could have high levels of toxic substances that could be harmful to human health.  

“For example, high levels of toxic elements have been found in clay tablets that are consumed by some pregnant women in Leicester.”

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During the lecture, Professor Haris will talk about the work he has been doing to help ensure food is safe to eat.

He said: “We are applying state of the art scientific methods to analyse foods and human exposure to chemicals for not only establishing risks to human health but also to find solutions

“We have identified rice that is low in arsenic and we are also developing a filter using biomass from the water hyacinth plant to remove arsenic from water.  Our research is helping people in both Leicester and in other parts of the world.”

Posted on Thursday 16th March 2017

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