FDA Allows Iowa to Blend Aflatoxin Corn
Update on use of aflatoxin corn
An important note related to aflatoxin:
This week FDA formally approved a request by the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture & Land Stewardship to allow blending of corn with more than 20 parts per billion (ppb) of aflatoxin with corn with lower levels or no aflatoxin for animal feeding. Aflatoxin is a fungus that produces a carcinogen that can cause health problems for livestock which eat contaminated corn. Corn containing greater than 500 ppb cannot be blended. This summer’s drought followed by the heavy rains of Hurricane Isaac spawned an aflatoxin explosion in parts of several midwestern states, including reported episodes of contract truckers refusing to move corn that didn’t test aflatoxin-free.
The American Feed Industry Assn. (AFIA) wrote this week to the president of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), which represents state feed regulators, asking AAFCO to urge other ag officials in states with a high presence of aflatoxin in this year’s corn crop to also seek FDA permission to blend corn in their states. AFIA wants states where blending is allowed to extend that freedom to feed manufacturers. The feed association is concerned feed companies may receive non-blended corn in excess of FDA’s allowable aflatoxin levels and wants companies permitted to blend corn as well. At this point, FDA says it’s up to the state where FDA allows blending to make that determination. In Iowa’s case, before grain dealers do any blending, they must join with the state department and sign a compliance agreement based upon FDA’s permission and long-standing guidance policy on blending (FDA Guidance Document/Compliance Policy Guide (CPG) – Section 683.100, “Action Levels for Aflatoxin in Animal Feeds”). A copy of the agreement can be found at www.iowaagriculture.gov under “hot topics.” Every batch of blended corn must be analyzed to determine aflatoxin levels, the Iowa department said, and the testing must be done using approved sampling and analysis protocols and testing procedures outlined by USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA). All test results must be provided to the buyer of the corn, and the buyer must provide written assurance the corn will be used only for animal feed and in accordance with FDA guidance. The blended corn must be clearly identified and labeled for animal feed use only. (Courtesy of SDADA –This week in Washington).
More information on aflatoxin is on the EDEN drought page