Increased urbanization, coupled with an upsurge in urban livestock rearing, could increase the vulnerability of animals and animal products to aflatoxin contamination, said Lindahl.
A damaged maize cob that, if harvested with clean cobs, can contaminate all the cobs with aflatoxins (photo credit: Joseph Atehnkeng/IITA).
‘The UN World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that billions of people in the developing world are chronically exposed to aflatoxin, a natural poison on food crops which causes cancer, impairs the immune system, inhibits growth, and causes liver disease as well as death in both humans and animals.
According to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) aflatoxins contaminate one-quarter of the global food supply and over half the world’s population; 4.5 billion people are exposed to high, unmonitored levels, primarily in developing countries. In sub-Saharan African alone, an estimated 26,000 people die annually of liver cancer associated with aflatoxin exposure.
‘Aflatoxins not only pose serious health risks, but are believed to be detrimental to efforts to improve food security and international food trade.
‘According to the UN Food and Agricultural…
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