The Facts About Perchlorate and Milk


News coverage concerning perchlorate in milk is based on a deceptive press release, mischaracterized as a "study" by an environmental group. The "report" contains serious scientific flaws and miscalculations, ignores the fact that California has already considered exposure to perchlorate from milk in setting a Public Health Goal (PHG) for perchlorate, and overlooks what credible science has shown about whether minute traces of perchlorate have any impact on the body.

  • Milk is safe. State health officials have concluded the minute amounts of perchlorate in milk do not pose a health threat, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has recommended people continue to drink milk with confidence. Steve Lyle, with the CDFA, has been quoted in the Modesto Bee as saying, "California milk is safe. We recommend people continue to drink milk with confidence." (6/23/04).
  • Impossible milk consumption would be required for risk. At the levels of perchlorate reported in milk, a person would have to drink more than 100 glasses of milk a day, every day, before there would be any measurable effects, and more than 20,000 glasses of milk before there could even be any risk of adverse health effects.
  • There is no evidence that minute levels of perchlorate pose any health risk to anyone. Credible, peer-reviewed science consistently shows no adverse health effects from perchlorate, which has actually been used as a medicine for more than 50 years.
  • California already factored exposure to perchlorate through food and milk into its public health goal of 6 ppb for perchlorate in drinking water, which in itself is already overly restrictive. On page 84 of the California Public Health Goal document, it clearly states an assumption that 60 percent of perchlorate exposure (for pregnant women) will be through drinking water, and 40 percent will be from farm products and cow's milk.