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Expert warns against eating Aflatoxin-infected farm produce

By - - [General ]

It causes stunting in children, liver cancer in adults

An agricultural expert, Mr Ismail Olawale, has raised alarm over the spread of aflatoxin in local agricultural produce.
Olawale, a researcher at the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview in Lagos.

NAN reports that Aflatoxin is produced by two prominent fungi, Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, found mainly in warm and humid regions of the world.

Aflatoxins are a family of toxins produced by certain fungi that are found on agricultural crops such as corn, peanuts, cottonseed etc.

The expert revealed that the fungi contaminate agricultural produce via numerous sources which he said should be monitored and curtailed.

“There are numerous ways aflatoxins contaminate agriculture produce. These crops can be contaminated from the soil, during harvest or even via storage.

“Aflatoxins can also infect the crops through animal manure such as cow dung, donkey dung etc, if not properly administered.

“We usually advice local farmers to be cautious during harvest of their crops, they should ensure minimal contact of the crops with the ground.

“We also counsel local farmers that harvested crop produce should be stored one meter or two above ground level to avoid aflatoxin contamination,” he told NAN.

Olawale also recounted other ways the Aflatoxin fungi could contaminate agriculture produce through animal contact.

“Some domestic animals such as cows and goats have elements of the fungi in their mouth. When they graze on these crops they may contaminate them with aflatoxin.

“We most times advice Nigerians against consuming milk directly from the cows, because some of them possess aflatoxin fungi.

“Animals are not immune to the Aflatoxin virus, dairy produce and chicken produce also have the virus,” he said.

The expert called on the National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and other regulatory bodies to inspect agricultural produce for the fungi.

“At the market entry of these crops, regulatory bodies should be available to detect if there is any contamination on these produce.

“The work of NAFDAC should go beyond the ports, but they should also screen agricultural produce before their entry into the market.

“There should be serious screening and gate keeping of agricultural produce by the regulators if we are to abate the spread of aflatoxin fungi,” he said.

NAN reports that Aflatoxin fungi are a major cause of stunting in children and cancer of the liver in adults. (NAN)

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9 Comments Nigeria News
Olite1996• a month ago
tips noted
Raymond• a month ago
How can one eat this
Lurdharry• a month ago
blesynfemi• a month ago
Abdulhafeez• a month ago
may God protect us o..which one b diz now?
iammicharles• a month ago
An eye opener
innkayobami• a month ago
Highly noted
Abidoun• a month ago
Raymond• a month ago

(Go Up)

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