In May of 2015, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reported three possible sources of perchlorate in fruits and vegetables:
Water – soil – fertilizers
The perchlorate usually is absorbed by the plant along with water and fertilizers, as well as nutrients, which are deposited into the fruits and tissues. Until now, the transformation mechanisms inside the plants are unknown.
What is Perchlorate?
Perchlorate is an ion that is found naturally in the environment, forms in the atmosphere and is transferred to soil and water, and is found in nitrate and potassium deposits from which different fertilizers are produced. It can also be generated during the degradation of sodium hypochlorite used for water disinfection.
In June 2015 the European Commission updated the maximum limits of perchlorates allowed for the following foods:
• Fruits and vegetables and its derivative products contained in
• Foods for infants and young children. Dehydrated herbs, spices
and teas, herbal infusions and fruits.
• Drinks, including drinking water.
Further information regarding allowed quantities in said foods is available on the EFSA website.
Why is it important to control Perchlorate?
Perchlorate is a pollutant that has the ability to compete with the thyroid’s iodine uptake, and in the long run, and depending on the concentrations, may produce hypothyroidism, especially in communities with iodine deficiencies in their diets and among children under 12. However, until now, there is no evidence that derivative exposure to perchlorate at the levels normally present in the environment may affect health.
Prevention and Recommendations
Referential Perchlorate Levels for Sales in the Union
The production of Ultrasol® K Plus is carried out under the highest quality standards, guaranteeing the content of perchlorate at 50 ppm.
Referential limits of perchlorates in foods, drinks, and fertilizers of the EU.
Why use fertilizers with a maximum perchlorate content of 50 ppm, everywhere around the world?
• On 23 June 2015, the European Union (EU) issued the latest statement regarding the presence of perchlorate in food, which includes revision of the provisional perchlorate limits. http://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/docs/cs_contaminants_catalogue_perchlora...
• The EU is expected to establish definitive limits for perchlorates in foods during the first semester.
• A study carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) about the health risks caused by perchlorate residues in foods, last updated on May 26, 2015, pointed to fertilizers as one of the possible sources of perchlorates in foods http://www.efsa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/scientific_output/files/ma...
• In the meantime, the EU is directly taking care of the perchlorate levels in fertilizers: the European Commission presented a proposal for a new fertilizer regulation on the 17th of March of 2016 in the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. According to this proposal, inorganic fertilizers can not contain more than
50 mg per kg of dry matter (50 ppm) perchlorate: https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2016/EN/1-2016-157-EN-F1-... https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2016/EN/1-2016-157-EN-F1-...(Annexed I, p. 8).
• In 2014, a scientific report was published about agronomical trials carried out both by the Wageningen greenhouse horticulture unit in the Netherlands and the Sint-Katelijne-Waver Plant Production Research Station in Belgium regarding “The Effects Perchlorates in Fertilizers have on Lettuce and Vegetables - Absorption and Distribution of Perchlorates in Lettuce grown in soil in a greenhouse and hydroponic cucumbers, sweet peppers, round tomatoes and cherry tomatoes”. The results show that the current EU limits of perchlorates in the edible parts of the before mentioned crops do not exceed when the fertilizers used have a maximum perchlorate content of 50ppm. https://www.wageningenur.nl/en/Publication-details.htm?publicationld=pub...
• In 2016, a scientific report was published about agronomical trials carried out by the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in Spain regarding an “Analysis of the absorption and storage of perchlorates present in fertilizers for melons and watermelons grown under a roof”. The results show that the current EU limits of perchlorates in the edible parts of the before mentioned crops do not exceed when the fertilizers used have a maximum perchlorate content of 50ppm. http://oa.upm.es/40529 Therefore, food and beverage producers (farmers, fruit and greenhouse vegetable producers, beverage industries, among others) in the EU and the exporters to the European Union must use fertilizers with less than 50ppm perchlorate. June 14, 2016
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