Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will no longer require aflatoxin screening and testing of milk received in Iowa beginning on March 1, 2013.
The testing requirement was put in place on August 31, 2012 due to the drought conditions in Iowa last summer, which can produce aflatoxin in corn.
During the six months in which the testing requirement has been in place the Department has only seen four loads of milk test positive for aflatoxin and all four were destroyed. The last load to test positive was on Nov. 7, 2012. As a result, approximately 88.46 million gallons of milk have been tested since the last load to test positive for aflatoxin.
“We appreciate the cooperation from milk processors and farmers throughout this process as we work with them to ensure the milk supply stays safe and free of aflatoxin,” Northey said.
The Department is also conducted a state-wide corn sampling program last fall to determine the prevalence of aflatoxin. The Department also has received a waiver from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that allows FDA to allow corn containing more than 20 ppb of aflatoxin to be blended with non-aflatoxin containing corn for animal feed for non-dairy animals. The FDA’s current blending waiver is in place until June 1, 2013.
The FDA has established guidelines for acceptable aflatoxin levels in corn based on its intended use. Corn containing aflatoxin in concentrations of greater than 20 ppb cannot be used for human consumption and cannot be used for feed for dairy animals or for immature livestock of others species. Corn containing aflatoxin at 100 ppb or less can be used in breeding cattle and swine and mature poultry. Corn with 200 ppb or less can be used with finishing swine greater than 100 lbs. in weight and corn with 300 ppb or less can be used in finishing beef cattle.
More information about aflatoxin in corn can be found on the ISU Extension and Outreach “Dealing with Disasters” page at www.extension.iastate.edu/topic/recovering-disasters.