News Release For more information, contact:
Holly Givens (413-774-7511, Ext. 18)
Organic Trade Association Addresses FDA Report Finding Perchlorate in Conventional and Organic Milk and Lettuce
GREENFIELD, Mass. (December 2, 2004) -- On November 26, 2004, the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) published initial exploratory data looking at the presence of the chemical perchlorate in some of our nation's food and water supply. The FDA reported finding perchlorate in 217 of 232 samples of milk and lettuce in 15 states. In the testing, both conventional and organic samples of lettuce and milk were found to contain perchlorate.
"Perchlorate contamination appears to be a problem across all agriculture, whether conventional or organic methods are employed," said Katherine DiMatteo, executive director of The Organic Trade Association (OTA). "While perchlorate was detected in organic lettuce and milk, there is no reason to believe that this is exclusively an organic concern."
In recent years there has been concern about perchlorate contamination in soil, ground water, drinking water and irrigation water in areas throughout the country. As a result, the FDA is evaluating the contamination levels and potential health risks associated with consuming foods contaminated with perchlorate. Currently reviewing several important questions to determine if perchlorate is a public health concern, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), is expected to release a report of its findings in January 2005.
Until there is more known about the health effects of perchlorate and its presence in foods, the FDA continues to recommend that consumers eat a balanced diet by choosing a variety of foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables. The FDA does not recommend that consumers alter their eating habits at this time.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is a membership-based business association whose mission is to encourage global sustainability through promoting and protecting the growth of diverse organic trade. OTA's approximately 1,500 members include growers, shippers, retailers, processors, certifiers, farmer associations, brokers, consultants and others. For further info, visit OTA's web site at www.ota.com.
December 2, 2004
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