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Reports indicate cadmium poses no immediate risk

Initial reports indicate cadmium poses no immediate risk

A working group formed to assess the risks of cadmium in New Zealand agriculture has released papers indicating that cadmium levels do not currently pose an immediate risk to New Zealand agriculture or food safety.

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

“The preliminary findings of the Cadmium Working Group indicate that there is no immediate risk”, says Working Group Chairman John Hellstrom.

The findings are supported by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (a member of the Cadmium Working Group), responsible for managing New Zealanders’ exposure to cadmium through food. The authority has confirmed that the amount of cadmium in the diet of the average New Zealander is well below levels that would cause any concern.

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

“We are taking a measured and strategic approach to consider the risks to New Zealanders and the wider agricultural sector. The next stage is to consider approaches to limit cadmium accumulation in New Zealand soils so that it is not an issue in the future.” said John Hellstrom.

“Today we have released two reports – a technical report on the levels of soil cadmium in New Zealand; and the summary of the Cadmium Working Group’s initial report, which provides a national snapshot of the risks and issues associated with cadmium accumulation”.

“The full initial report is currently being peer reviewed in Australia, and will be ready for release in February. Our next step will be to identify strategies to manage any potential future risks of cadmium accumulation.”

The reports are available via the following links:
For the report “Soil Maps Of Cadmium In New Zealand” go to –

For the summary report entitled “Cadmium in New Zealand Agriculture” go to -


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