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Taken from a Canadian Food Inspection Agency Industry bulletin.

INDUSTRY BULLETIN – February 20, 2015

Levels of Aflatoxins in Imported Corn Exceeding Canadian Livestock Feed Regulatory Standard

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) verifies that livestock feeds manufactured, sold and imported into Canada are safe, effective and are labelled appropriately. Safe and effective feeds contribute to the production and maintenance of healthy livestock and safe foods of animal origin.
High levels of aflatoxin have been detected in organic feed corn originating from India. Samples were found with as much as 20 times the permitted level of 20 ppb as defined in the Feeds Regulations (section 19(1)(i)). In addition, visible mould and insect infestation was noted. The importation of corn or other feed ingredients containing levels of aflatoxin in excess of 20 ppb and/or deemed to be musty, mouldy or damaged from heat or any other cause that would render the feed unfit or unsafe for feeding, is a contravention of the Feeds Regulations (i.e., section 19(1)(i) and 19(1)(c) respectively).
Imported corn destined for livestock feeds must comply with the regulatory standards as specified in the Feeds Regulations. Importers, purchasers, feed manufacturers and livestock producers are encouraged to request further information from their suppliers regarding the source of any corn and contaminant specifications of any ingredients they are purchasing.
Aflatoxin is a type of mycotoxin produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus, which grows on seeds and plants. Aflatoxins can cause serious health effects. They are potent toxins which are toxigenic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic in various animal species. Symptoms of illness due to exposure to aflatoxins often depend on species, gender, age, stress level, and reproductive and health status of the animal. Aflatoxin from feed is readily transferred to milk and other animal products, and as such could present a food safety issue. Aflatoxin is a highly stable toxin, and is resistant to heat, cold and light.
Blending to dilute aflatoxin levels is not permitted in Canada. Some concerns associated with blending are:
• safety issues associated with chronic increased exposure to aflatoxins;
• hot spots; and
• potential increase of aflatoxin levels during storage.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Animal Feed Division at the following e-mail address: AFD-DAA@inspection.gc.ca or Annie Savoie by telephone at 613-773-7510.

Animal Feed Division

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This article was originally posted on Field Crop News (http://fieldcropnews.com/2014/10/2014-grain-corn-ear-mould-and-vomitoxin-survey). Written by Greg Stewart and Albert Tenuta.

The OMAFRA Field Crops team has completed the survey of the 2014 Ontario corn crop to determine ear mould incidence and the occurrence of mycotoxins in the grain. These mycotoxins, particularly vomitoxin (DON) produced primarily by Gibberella/Fusarium ear moulds, are grading factors and can be disruptive when fed to livestock, especially hogs.

 
202 samples were collected from October 14 to October 17, 2014 from corn fields across the province. In each field, 2 random areas were selected: in each area 10 consecutive ears were hand harvested and bagged. In fields with several hybrids, representative samples were taken from two areas for each hybrid (maximum of 4 hybrids per field). The 20-ear samples were then immediately dried and shelled. The resultant sample was thoroughly mixed and a sub-sample provided to A&L Laboratories in London for vomitoxin (DON) analysis.

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