Germany: Few problems with perchlorate in fruit and vegetables

The Lower Saxony Bureau for Consumer protection and Food Safety tested 149 fruit and vegetable samples for the presence of perchlorate in June and July. Only two samples of lettuce were found to contain a clearly higher perchlorate level, reports the German website

Perchlorates are used industrially as fuel for rockets and fireworks, among other things. They also occur naturally, for instance in sodium nitrate, which is often used in fertilisers. The use of the substance in fertilisers is also the most likely cause of the presence of perchlorate residue in fruit and vegetables.
Strawberries, cherries, lettuce, asparagus, tomatoes and herbs, among other things, were tested for the presence of perchlorate in the food and veterinary institute Oldenburg (LVI). Perchlorate could be found in 43 samples (29%) in total. The highest perchlorate values (4.56 mg/kg and 3.02 mg/kg) were found in two samples of lettuce from conventional cultivation. Only these two samples were over the maximum limit of perchlorate.
The intake of large amounts of perchlorate can influence the iodine absorption in the thyroid glands and inhibit the production of thyroid hormones. This effect is reversible, the German Institute for Risk Evaluation (BfR) reported.

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