As part of a research project of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) on ‘Determining pyrrolizidine alkaloids in foodstuffs and feeds’, over 200 commercially available samples of tea and herbal teas were analysied. Some were found to contain high total content of pyrrolozidine alkaloids – up to 3.4 mg per kg of dry product. PAs are undesireable in foodstuffs due to their toxicological potential. At higher doses, acute liver damage is possible. What’s more, in animal experiments, certain PAs have shown themselves to be genotoxic carcinogens. The Institut Kirchhoff Berlin GmbH established the method of detecting PAs in plant matter, using LC-MS/MS, which was published by the BfR for its research project.