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Cadmium Working Group releases full report

Cadmium Working Group releases full report

A working group formed to assess the risks of cadmium in New Zealand agriculture today released its full report into the risks and issues associated with cadmium accumulation, following the release of preliminary findings in December.

“The findings indicate that there is no immediate risk to New Zealand agriculture, food safety and land use flexibility”, says Working Group Chairman John Hellstrom.

“This is supported by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority, which is responsible for managing New Zealanders’ exposure to cadmium through food, and is a member of the Cadmium Working Group. They have confirmed that the amount of cadmium in the diet of the average New Zealander is well below levels that would cause any concern.

“However, as we stated in December, there is evidence that cadmium levels in soil are increasing. The Cadmium Working Group was formed in response to this emerging issue and we’ve been working to understand the current situation and consider the risks associated with it.

“The preliminary findings of our risk assessment were released in December. The full report has been released today following a peer review process.

“We are taking a measured and strategic approach - the next stage is to consider options for preventing cadmium accumulation in New Zealand soils becoming an issue in the future. The industry is aware of the problem and has been working to reduce Cadmium inputs for some time now.”

“A national cadmium strategy will be developed to manage any potential future risks from cadmium accumulation, including options for mitigation; education and information programmes.

The Cadmium Working Group, which is coordinated by the Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry, includes representatives from central and local government and the agricultural sectors.


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