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Aflatoxin milk testing requirement ends

Image courtesy: Iowa State University.
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On March 1, the Iowa Department of Agriculture ended its requirement that all milk arriving at Iowa milk processors be tested for aflatoxin. The requirement went into effect on August 31, 2012. Over 88 million gallons of milk were tested during the requirement, with just four milk tankers found to contain any aflatoxin at all; their loads were destroyed. The last detection of aflatoxin in milk occurred on November 7, 2012.

2012 corn is still being used as dairy feed, and may still contain aflatoxin. Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey explains why the department chose to end the requirement.

Corn containing aflatoxin in no more than 20 parts per billion is permissible in the human food supply and as feed for dairy animals, according to FDA. Corn containing 300 parts per billion or less aflatoxin is usable in finishing beef cattle, but for dairy animals the risk that toxins could be passed into the milk necessitates a lower figure.