good news about your kid’s cereal: “now fortified with aflatoxin..with bonus chemisorbents in every bite!”

Call me a debbie downer, but I’m not too keen on my child starting his mornings off with a carcinogenic assult to his liver. (Yeah, yeah….I’m one of those over-bearing moms…)

Here is something for you to think about from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations website:

The consumption of mycotoxin-contaminated commodities is related to several acute and chronic diseases in humans as well as in animals. While the exact cause and effect relationship has been established for only a few of the diseases, speculation about the role of mycotoxins in the aetiology of various illnesses has been based on circumstantial evidence in other cases.

Although there are many species of toxigenic moulds, only a few mycotoxins, particularly those affecting cereals (maize, wheat, barley, oats and rice) and groundnuts, are considered to be significant for humans. The most well-known mycotoxin, the potent human hepatocarcinogen aflatoxin, is produced by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus.

 Now consider these excerpts from an article written by Terrence O’Keefe on WattAg.net:

March USDA estimates say the 2009 corn crop is the largest ever, but wet weather last fall opened the door for mold and mycotoxin issues.

Aflatoxin at levels between 2 and 34 parts per billion was found in corn samples from North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas.

But, mycotoxins are not necessarily uniformly distributed throughout the truck or rail car load. If a hot spot exists in the load and it isn’t sampled, a contaminated load can get through.

The Cornell University has some great information on the matter as well:

As it is realized that absolute safety is never achieved, many countries have attempted to limit exposure to aflatoxins by imposing regulatory limits on commodities intended for use as food and feed.

The punchline? Some of those “many countries” they are referring to are also known as third world countries. I have a feeling ours will just start enriching food with hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicate...don’t be surprised if it ends up somewhere in the food pyramid.

Ugh.

(Sorry…that’s all I can muster up with my thoughts on the subject. I’ll probably elaborate more once I pick my jaw up off the floor.)

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