“Mitigating mycotoxin contamination in the African food and feed chain ”
Mycotoxigenic fungi significantly effect the production, safety and trade of agricultural crops in Africa. Despite local and international efforts, the continent is plagued by mycotoxigenic fungi that contaminate crops and cause acute and chronic diseases in humans and animals. Rural communities are largely unaware of the perpetual poisoning of their daily diets; while producers and traders neither have the ability nor the resources to prevent infection.
Africans consume large quantities of maize, wheat, sorghum and groundnuts, and rely on these crops as a primary source of food and income. In 2004, acute poisoning of maize with aflatoxins resulted in the deaths of more than 100 Kenyans. Aflatoxins are also associated with liver damage and growth reduction of children in other parts of Africa. Additionally, other mycotoxins like fumonisins, trichothecenes and ochratoxins and their associated fungi; can also be harmful under favourable climatic conditions. To protect consumers and livestock against important mycotoxins, the USA and EU have implemented strict regulations for maximum allowable limits in food and feed. Such regulations are seldom implemented in African countries, and even less regulated, thereby discouraging international trade and impeding economic development on the continent.
In an effort to address the threat of mycotoxins to food production systems, health care and trade on the African continent; and following on from a successful 1st ASM held in 2015 in Zambia, it gives us great pleasure to announce this symposium to be held under the auspices of the International Society on Mycotoxicology (ISM).
Prof Bradley C. Flett and Prof Sheila Okoth
Open here Symposium brochure.