2013 European aflatoxin contamination

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In February–March 2013 several European countries, including Romania,[1] Serbia,[2][3] Croatia[4][5] reported nationwide 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.[6] It was also reported in March that tests revealed contamination in milk produced by two Dutch farms.[7][8] Milk in Germany was also tested but so far is reported as not tainted.[9] Nevertheless, Russia announced it would ban imports from the German farms that received contaminated feed.[10] On March 20, Romanian farmers dumped milk in protest after the government banned milk from five farms, which remain unnamed.[11] Danone Romania also withdrew some 75 tons of milk products from the shelves.[12][13]

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.[14]

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.[15] This higher limit however is the one practiced in the United States and two-thirds of the world.[16][17]

On February 22, The Iowa Department of Agriculture found elevated Aflatoxin concentrations in dog food manufactured at a Pro-Pet facility in Kansas City, KS. The corn component of the dog food was reportedly contaminated with aflatoxins, though the contributing corn load passed screening at the facility.[18][19] There are no reports of milk infestation in Iowa.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ News, ACTMedia - Romanian Business. "Romanian authorities recall aflatoxin-tainted milk from market". actmedia.eu.
  2. ^ "B92 - News - Aflatoxin regulations to be harmonized with EU standards". Archived from the original on 2013-05-02. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
  3. ^ "Balkan States to Step Up Food Control on Aflatoxin Scare" – via www.bloomberg.com.
  4. ^ "Reports of cancer-causing toxin in milk triggers health scare in the Balkans".
  5. ^ "Serbian dairy farmers dump milk in streets in protest - NZweek". Archived from the original on 2013-03-03. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
  6. ^ "EU: Feed contaminated with Aflatoxin". Archived from the original on 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
  7. ^ "Second tanker of contaminated milk found - DutchNews.nl". 6 March 2013.
  8. ^ Aflatoxin detected in milk from two Dutch dairy farmer - People's Daily Online
  9. ^ Blond, Josie Le (3 March 2013). "Germany tests milk in carcinogen scare" – via The Guardian.
  10. ^ "Russia bans imports from some German companies - KyivPost". 5 March 2013.
  11. ^ europeonline-magazine.eu, europe online publishing house gmbh -. "EUROPE ONLINE". en.europeonline-magazine.eu.
  12. ^ "Danone retira produtos suspeitos de contaminação com aflatoxina". 18 March 2013.
  13. ^ Insider, Romania (20 March 2013). "Testing on Danone products in Romania shows safe for consumption after milk toxin scare - Romania Insider".
  14. ^ "Page not found". www.romerlabs.com.
  15. ^ Roser, Thomas (6 March 2013). "Milch-Skandal: Grenzwerte erhöht, Problem gelöst" – via Die Zeit.
  16. ^ "So gefährlich ist das Schimmelpilz-Gift". 1 March 2013.
  17. ^ Baragona, Steve. "Serbian Scandal Highlights Fungal Poison Danger".
  18. ^ "Dog food recall underscores toxic danger in drought-hit U.S. corn". 25 February 2013 – via Reuters.
  19. ^ "Hy-Vee issues recall of several dog food products due to aflatoxin". www.theglobaldispatch.com.
  20. ^ "Testing for aflatoxin in milk ends". Radio Iowa. 4 March 2013.