Farmers clueless on lead-laced crop in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh

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A senior official at the AP horticulture department explained how they find high lead levels in the leafy vegetables.

Visakhapatnam: Nizamabad in TS and Duggirala in AP are the biggest markets for turmeric locally, but farmers are not aware how lead seeps into the crop.

Soil contaminated with lead, irrigated water containing lead or equipment being used to prepare turmeric powder being coated with lead are some of the suspects.

A senior official at the AP horticulture department explained how they find high lead levels in the leafy vegetables or vegetables cultivated along the Musi river in Hyderabad.

“Several municipalities in and around fields where turmeric is cultivated in Andhra Pradesh or Telangana state don’t have sewerage treatment plants. Even industries discharge their effluents into the farmlands, which can obviously lead to lead toxicity in the soil,” he said. Pesticide usage cannot increase lead levels in turmeric or any other food products, he said.

Meanwhile, a new review of scientific literature of curcumin, the most active substance of turmeric, published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry found that the low systemic exposure levels of curcumin reported in clinical trials do not support its further investigation as a therapeutic.

 

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