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Ask Tufts Experts May 2013 Issue

Q :I have to avoid copper because of Wilson’s disease, so I can’t have dried fruits that have been treated with copper sulfate. Are organically grown dried fruits still processed with copper sulfate or would these be OK?

Answer : A Lisa Massini, a dietetic intern in Tufts’ Frances Stern Nutrition Center, responds: “Copper sulfate is an approved pesticide for organic farms and is widely used. Dried fruits are also naturally high in copper, so in combination with copper sulfate, they would supply a large amount of copper that may be unsafe for those with Wilson’s disease, an inherited disorder that causes copper to build up in body tissues and organs.”

Fruits high in copper, Massini notes, include prunes, dried apricots, dates, raisins and tomatoes (sundried and raw).  

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