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 September 05 2011

Associate Professor Vudtechai Kapilakanchana, President of Kasetsart University (L) and Dr. Hideo Imai, Deputy Director of FFTC (R), deliver the welcome and opening addresses at the mycotoxins international seminar in Pattaya, Thailand

Pattaya, Thailand —Scientists and researchers from seven countries pledged their support and commitment to form a tight network of experts who will exchange and share information about research updates, technologies and possible protocols for risk assessment and management of the dreaded mycotoxins.

Mycotoxins are among the most toxic and dangerous chemicals potentially present in food and agricultural materials. Some of these are aflatoxin, ochratoxin, zearalenone and fumonisin. They can have adverse impact on the health of humans and animals as well as negative economic impacts on agriculture and related industries. Almost one-third of the world’s food supply is suspected to have been contaminated with mycotoxins. Asia is an epicenter of mycotoxin contamination of important crops such as corn and peanut, since climatic and crop storage conditions in this region are frequently conducive to fungal growth and mycotoxin production. Most developing countries in Asia, where much of the population relies on subsistence farming or on unregulated local markets, are often without the resources to detect and monitor mycotoxins in their food supplies. Therefore, they are the hardest hit in terms of their health and income.

Because mycotoxins are a serious threat to food safety, both producers and government control authorities are directing their efforts toward the implementation of a correct and reliable information of the real status of mycotoxin contamination in food commodities and their impact on human and animal health.

The five-day “International Seminar on Risk Assessment and Risk Management of Mycotoxions for Food Safety in Asia,” which was jointly sponsored by FFTC and Thailand’s Kasetsart University included topics on the status of mycotoxin damages in agricultural crops in Asian countries, risk assessment of mycotoxins including various analytical and monitoring technologies for mycotoxin detection in both food and feed commodities and other risk management and regulatory issues.

To read the full story, go to the publications database and click on Newsletter 173