Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Mycotoxins in Food Insecure Countries
Presenter: Dr. J. David Miller, Department of Chemistry, Carleton University, Ottawa
Abstract: There are five agriculturally important mycotoxins in food and feed, aflatoxin (1961), ochratoxin (1965), deoxynivalenol (1974), zearlanone (1966) and fumonisin (1988). In the US and Canada, contamination by mycotoxins costs the agri-food system between $200 million and $2 billion in loss each year. This accrues from testing commodities, foods and feeds, crop losses to farmers and disruptions to the value chain. The WHO Global Burden of Disease FERG (2015) considered all relevant chemical contaminants of food. Aflatoxin accounted for more than half the cancers (~30% of liver cancer globally) and considering the contribution of aflatoxin to child stunting, aflatoxin has a health impact equal to all chemicals found in food. In Africa as well as parts of Latin America, exposure aflatoxin and fumonisin has greatly increased in the past 50 years. These toxins responsible for an enormous loss of disability adjusted life years in highly affected areas. Over the past decade, I have been involved in a process to reverse this tide and improve public health.