New reference values for perchlorate

The Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed has specified new reference values for perchlorate. Based on a risk assessment issued by the EFSA, the EU Commission had previously submitted a draft on reducing the current reference values.

This draft was adopted in a meeting held on 10 March 2015. The new reference values have been valid since 16 March 2015 and hence replace the previously valid transitional values.

The new reference values applicable to the European domestic trade as of immediately range between 0.02 mg/kg (for the category of ready-to-eat foods for babies and infants) and 1.0 mg/kg (for the category of herbs, lettuce, lettuce plants including rocket, from greenhouses/protected cultivation; herb and fruit teas, dried). A full overview of all food categories and the pertaining reference values can be found in the minutes of the meeting on the page of the European Commission.

The EU member states are constrained to conduct further investigations regarding the route of entry of perchlorate into foods. A draft recommendation of the EU Commission for monitoring perchlorate is expected for April 2015.