2013 aflatoxin contamination
In February–March 2013 several European countries, including Romania, Serbia, Croatia reported nation-wide contamination of milk for human consumption (and possibly of derivative products) with aflatoxins. The details are still scarce.
It was reported in March that feed originating from Serbia and imported in the Netherlands and Germany was contaminated. It was also reported in March that tests revealed contamination in milk produced by two Dutch farms. Milk in Germany was also tested but insofar reported as not tainted. Nevertheless, Russia announced it would ban imports from the German farms that received contaminated feed. On March 20, Romanian farmers dumped milk in protest after the government banned milk from five farms, which remain unnamed. Danone Romania also withdrew some 75 tons of milk products from the shelves.
The European Commissions' Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) has reported 10 notifications of aflatoxin B1 in maize of European origin since the last maize harvest in autumn 2012. In the 10 years prior to the last harvest—between 2001 and 2011—a total of nine cases of aflatoxins were reported in maize. Aflatoxins have been mainly an "import problem" up to now. However, global warming is increasingly affecting the mycotoxin map in Europe, producing "tropical toxins" within Europe's borders.
In Serbia the contamination turned into a political scandal after the government raised the internal milk contamination standards to tenfold of those from the EU. This higher limit however is the one practiced in the United States and two-thirds of the world.
Earlier in February, U.S. corn was reportedly contaminated with aflatoxins, leading to a recall of dog food using corn as an ingredient. There are no reports of milk infestation in the U.S.
- Romanian authorities recall aflatoxin-tainted milk from market | ACTMedia
- B92 - News - Aflatoxin regulations to be harmonized with EU standards
- Balkan States to Step Up Food Control on Aflatoxin Scare - Bloomberg
- Reports of cancer-causing toxin in milk triggers health scare in the Balkans
- Serbian dairy farmers dump milk in streets in protest - NZweek
- AllAboutFeed - EU: Feed contaminated with Aflatoxin
- DutchNews.nl - Second tanker of contaminated milk found
- Aflatoxin detected in milk from two Dutch dairy farmer - People's Daily Online
- Germany tests milk in carcinogen scare | World news | guardian.co.uk
- Russia bans imports from some German companies
- Aflatoxins Pose New Risk to European Maize Production
- Milch-Skandal: Grenzwerte erhöht, Problem gelöst | Wissen | ZEIT ONLINE
- Futtermittel-Skandal: So gefährlich ist das Schimmelpilz-Gift - Gesundheit | STERN.DE
- Serbian Scandal Highlights Fungal Poison Danger
- Dog food recall underscores toxic danger in drought-hit U.S. corn | Reuters
- Hy-Vee issues recall of several dog food products due to aflatoxin - The Global Dispatch