WhatsNew2Day
Latest News And Breaking Headlines

Cancer alarm with salad rocket: trendy leaves surpass safe nitrates in one-in-ten samples

Cancer alarm via rocket: Trendy lettuce leaves exceed safe levels of carcinogenic nitrates in one in EVERY ten samples

  • One in ten rocket monsters grown in Great Britain exceeded the nitrates limit
  • Research suggests that rocket is a “hyperaccumulator” of nitrates from the soil
  • There are indications that consuming nitrates above the threshold can pose a health risk

Trendy rocket leaves, whose sales have increased enormously as an option for a healthy salad, are central to cancer care.

Approximately one in ten samples grown in Great Britain exceeded the maximum permitted limit for nitrates, according to the Food Standards Agency.

Watchdogs in the UK and the EU have nitrate residue limits on leafy vegetables because research has shown a cancer association.

The FSA study collected more than 1,000 samples of leafy vegetables and lettuce and found that 4.76 percent of imported rocket samples would have exceeded the permitted limit, compared to 9.21 percent of the domestic rocket [File photo]

The FSA study collected more than 1,000 samples of leafy vegetables and lettuce and found that 4.76 percent of imported rocket samples would have exceeded the permitted limit, compared to 9.21 percent of the domestic rocket [File photo]

Rocket is considered to be healthy because it contains a lot of vitamins C, K and A. The characteristic peppery taste means that the leaf is very popular when it comes in bags with mixed salad – and sales are increasing enormously.

But FSA studies have shown that although most types of leafy vegetables have seen a decrease in nitrate levels, the rocket figures are higher and the trend is upward.

Increased nitrate levels are associated with the use of fertilizer, in particular for crops grown under glass or in polytunnels in the winter months.

The evidence of the effects of consuming nitrates suggests that they are beneficial at low levels, for example by lowering blood pressure, but harmful when ingested above the limits of the World Health Organization.

Watchdogs in the UK and the EU have nitrate residue limits on leafy vegetables because research has shown a cancer association. Rocket is considered to be healthy because it contains a lot of vitamins C, K and A. [File photo]

Watchdogs in the UK and the EU have nitrate residue limits on leafy vegetables because research has shown a cancer association. Rocket is considered to be healthy because it contains a lot of vitamins C, K and A. [File photo]

Watchdogs in the UK and the EU have nitrate residue limits on leafy vegetables because research has shown a cancer association. Rocket is considered to be healthy because it contains a lot of vitamins C, K and A. [File photo]

The FSA said: “Nitrates are chemicals that occur in plants, soil and water. The nitrate concentration in plant tissues is variable, but green leafy vegetables, when consumed raw, can contain relatively large amounts.

“Concentration above a threshold can pose a health risk and high nitrate levels have been associated with cancers.”

Research suggests that rocket is a “hyperaccumulator” of nitrates from the soil, while these chemicals are said to have a specific link with gastrointestinal cancer.

The FSA study collected more than 1,000 samples of leafy vegetables and lettuce and found that 4.76 percent of imported rocket samples would have exceeded the permitted limit, compared to 9.21 percent of the domestic rocket.

It turned out that 11.4 percent of the imported spinach samples and 3.7 percent of the British samples would have exceeded the permitted limit.

Only a handful of lettuce samples were above the limit.

The FSA acted in response to the findings and said, “Where maximum limits were exceeded, they (growers) were required to review aspects of their farming practices that could have contributed to the overrun.”

The watchdog plans to test other products such as kale and baby leaf.

The FSA added: “It is well known that rocket has higher nitrate levels compared to other varieties. It should also be noted that the number of samples tested can vary from year to year and the number of rocket samples is relatively small and therefore trends should be taken into account when analyzing trends. “

The British Leafy Salads Association, which speaks for growers, said it could not comment.

Research suggests that rocket is a “hyperaccumulator” of nitrates from the soil, while these chemicals are said to have a specific link with gastrointestinal cancer [File photo]

.

Comments
Loading...