Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Newsbite: Aflatoxin Widespread in US Mid West Drought

This year has been one of very little rain in the American MidWest (64% of the lower 48 states are in serious drought - a new record (U.S. Drought Monitor)), promoting growth of Aspergillus. As crops dry out (mainly corn/maize) the plants become highly stressed in the dry heat and are vulnerable to infection. Once the crop is infected Aspergillus itself becomes stressed as moisture is short and it starts to defend itself by producing mycotoxins which contaminate the crop. If the contamination exceeds 20 parts per billion it cannot be used for human or dairy cattle consumption. Consequent shortages effect both human food needs and food needed for cattle. more...

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