October 21, 2014

Ag Department to begin screening milk for aflatoxin

The Iowa Department of Agriculture will start screening milk to be sure that a type of mold that is prevalent in corn during drought years does not show up in the milk supply. Corn is a primary food for dairy cows, and Steve Moline of the Ag Department says the testing for aflattoxin is just a precaution.

Because we’ve had the necessary drought conditions and because there is some indication that they may be some levels of aflatoxin in some of the early harvested corn in Iowa, we have instated an order by the Iowa Department of Agriculture that raw milk be tested,” Moline explains.

This is the first statewide screening since 1988, which was- the last year with a significant drought. “We have no indication whatsoever that there has been any milk found that’s not what instituted the testing order, there was no aflatoxin detected in milk, this was a safe guard, almost an abundance of caution,” Moline says.

The Food and Drug Administration has guidelines for aflatoxin levels in corn for animal feed – but this year Iowa has asked for corn with higher levels to be allowed if mixed with other corn. The F-D-A has granted the state exemptions in the past. The milk screening will begin on Friday.