This years grain crops have confirmed high (dangerous) levels of aflatoxin, fumonsin, and DON. These grains become future dangers for pet foods containing corn, wheat and or barley.
Neogen – a company that sells testing equipment to animal feed/pet food manufacturers to detect levels of mycotoxins, released a report on October 5, 2015 stating many states have confirmed high levels of dangerous mycotoxins.
Confirmed testing has found the following…
Aflatoxin (more than 20 ppb is too high for food and pet food)
Georgia (more than 100 ppb)
Texas (more than 40 ppb)
North Carolina (more than 100 ppb)
South Carolina (more than 20 ppb)
Virginia (more than 100 ppb)
Kansas (more than 40 ppb)
Neogen also reported that confirmed reports of the mycotoxin DON (Deoxynivalenol) has been reported in corn in several states, barley in several states, and wheat in “all major classes of wheat in the US” and also detected in wheat in Canada.
These confirmed reports of mycotoxins in 2015 grains is a concern for pet food. FDA allows the animal feed industry to mix highly contaminated grains with clean grains in an effort to lower the total mycotoxin exposure – allowing farmers a means to sell highly contaminated grains. But…the problem with mycotoxins is proper testing.
Imagine a railroad car or large trailer full of corn (this is how grains are delivered to pet food manufacturing). The mold/mycotoxins are not uniform over all the grain delivery (thousands of pounds in one delivery) – they are in pockets…some sections are clean grain, other sections are contaminated grain. Testing the grain for mycotoxin contamination is encouraged, but finding those ‘pockets’ of highly contaminated grains are basically based on luck. One small test amount of corn is tested in the several thousand pound load. If that one small test amount is tested to be clean, the rest of the load is processed without question…even though their may remain numerous pockets of dangerous mycotoxins remaining.
Pets consuming a food or treat containing those mycotoxin contaminated grains will get sick. The severity can range from (low levels over time) “liver and kidney fibrosis, infections resulting from immonosuppression and cancer” to death if large amounts of mycotoxins are consumed. And worse yet, because the high levels of mycotoxins are often in pockets within the large load of grain, testing the pet food may never show the true cause of the pet illness or death. The food the pet consumed could contain the high level mycotoxin pocket, the remaining food tested may contain clean grain.
If your pet’s food or treat contains corn, wheat or barley – contact the manufacturer and ask what their mycotoxin testing procedure is. Ask them to explain their process to assure grains are clean of mycotoxins before processing. All consumers deserve this information.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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