Hungary says feed maize contains toxin, tightens controls
BUDAPEST Dec 10 (Reuters) - Hungary has tightened controls on maize designated as feed for dairy cows after discovering that some of the 2012 crop was contaminated by a toxin released by parasitical fungi, the National Food Chain Safety Authority said on Monday.
No people have yet been poisoned by the M1 variant of aflatoxin, a potentially carcinogenic product of the Aspergillus fungi species, and samples analysed from milk available to consumers have all been negative, the authority said.
"Hungary is affected by a contamination of feed maize. Therefore, it is necessary to tighten controls of feed given to dairy cows," it said in an emailed response to Reuters questions.
"The authority has taken the necessary steps, preventing the entry of aflatoxin from the contaminated feed into milk for consumption," it said.
It did not reveal when the contamination was identified or how much of the 2012 maize crop may have been affected.
The Agriculture Ministry has estimated this year's crop at 4.4 million to 4.5 million tonnes after a drought nearly halved yields from the previous year.
Serbia's Agriculture Ministry said early this month that a severe drought this year may have contributed to an increased presence of aflatoxin. (Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; editing by Jane Baird)
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