Iowa officials stop testing milk for aflatoxin


March 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa agriculture officials are no longer requiring that milk received in the state be tested for a poison-producing fungus. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship says milk will not be screened or tested for aflatoxin beginning today (Friday).

Aflatoxins are a group of chemicals produced by certain mold fungi. They occur more frequently in hot, dry summer conditions. The milk began being tested at the end of August. Since then, four loads of milk tested positive for aflatoxin. The last load tested positive in November.

The agency has been monitoring the prevalence of aflatoxin through a corn sampling program. It also blends aflatoxin with some corn for animal feed.