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Milk testing

Iowa ag department requires testing of milk for aflatoxin

Milk processors are required to screen all Grade A and Grade B farm bulk milk pickup tankers and farm can milk loads for aflatoxin on a weekly basis.

Milk testingBy the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced Friday that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will require aflatoxin screening and testing of milk received in Iowa beginning August 31, 2012 and continuing indefinitely.

The order announced today requires milk processors to screen all Grade A and Grade B farm bulk milk pickup tankers and farm can milk loads for aflatoxin on a weekly basis.

Aflatoxin can sometimes be found in drought-stressed corn. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established action levels for aflatoxin in milk and feed.

“We were well aware that aflatoxin could be an issue this year due to the historic drought conditions,” Northey said. “Now that farmers are starting to harvest silage, and corn in some cases, it is appropriate to begin this screening process to make sure our milk supply remains safe.”

The Department is also instituting a state-wide corn sampling program.

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.

On August 15, 2012 the Department submitted a request to FDA to allow corn containing more than 20 ppb of aflatoxin to be blended with non-aflatoxin containing corn for animal feed. The FDA has granted a similar request in previous years when aflatoxin has been present in Iowa.

More information about aflatoxin in corn can be found on the ISU Extension and Outreach “Dealing with Disasters” page .

 

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