Canada to check India’s feed corn for aflatoxin

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

All feed corn coming to Canada from India is now going to be held and tested for aflatoxin, as high levels of the toxins have recently turned up in organic corn from the country.

Importers of corn — organic or otherwise — from India, starting immediately, first must sample the corn, upon arrival in Canada and provide test results to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The sampling must be done immediately after arrival at the Canadian destination, CFIA said in a release Tuesday, because mould can grow and produce aflatoxins during shipping. Sampling and analysis conducted prior to shipping will not be accepted.

Shipments will only be released with an original certificate of analysis from an accredited lab showing the shipment comes in below the 20 parts per billion (ppb) level, CFIA said.

Seen mainly in imports of food and feeds from tropical and sub-tropical regions, aflatoxins are toxic byproducts of mould growth and are considered a potent carcinogen.

Aflatoxin contamination, at sufficient levels in affected livestock, can limit immune function, compromise resistance to infection and reduce animal performance. Consumed at higher levels, doses of aflatoxins can be fatal.

Canada’s Feeds Regulations limit aflatoxin levels in imports of corn or other feed ingredients to 20 ppb and prohibit corn deemed to be musty, mouldy or damaged from heat or any other cause that would render the feed unfit or unsafe for feeding.

CFIA recommended importers, buyers, feed millers and livestock producers ask for further information from their suppliers on the sources of any corn and contaminant specifications on any ingredients they buy.

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) staff at the end of April projected India’s total 2014-15 corn exports to come in at about 1.5 million tonnes, down from 3.9 million in 2013-14. — Network


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