Scientists side-step cadmium fertiliser decision

EU toxicology committee says safe limits should be based on risk, not soil accumulation

The EU's scientific toxicology committee has complicated European Commission efforts to set a safe limit for the level of cadmium content in fertilisers by calling for a limit based on risk assessment rather than just the likelihood of the metal accumulating in soils.

The committee was asked by the Commission to recommend an acceptable limit for cadmium based on the potential for soil accumulation, using data produced by member states. But in a report released today it refuses to do so, saying this approach "does not take into account the level of risk for human health and the environment". Instead, it advocates a risk-based approach incorporating exposure from other sources of cadmium in the environment.

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