Agriculture Ministry Denies Aflatoxin Milk Entered Cyprus Market
The Ministry of Agriculture has denied press reports that goat's milk tainted with aflatoxins has entered Cyprus' market, however, test results are still expected on 23 samples of cow's milk, said the Minister of Agriculture Michael Polynikis.
"In 35 tests carried out on the 26-28th of August, 12 out of 35 comply with regulations. We are expecting results from 23 tests which were made on dairy milk," said Mr. Polynikis.
Carcinogenic aflatoxins exceeding permissible levels were found in Cyprus' goat milk, said the Ministry of Agriculture on the 24th of August, but the tainted milk was destroyed and prevented from entering the market due to vigilant testing methods.
Yesterday afternoon, Minister of Agriculture Michael Polynikis chaired a meeting of all the large stakeholders on the issue.
"The Department of Agriculture, Cyprus Dairy Industry and the veterinary services have intensified control in view of the findings," he said.
Milk producers will be asked to be more careful in how they feed their animals, but it is still not clear whether the toxins originated from free-range or controlled feed.
Aflatoxins are toxin metabolites produced by a variety of molds such as Aspergillus flavus and aspergillus parasiticus. They are carcinogenic and can be present in grains, nuts, cottonseed and other commodities associated with human food or animal feeds.
Crops may be contaminated by one or more of the four sub-types of aflatoxin: B1, B2, G1 and G2. Aflatoxin B1 is the most toxic and frequently detected form. Aflatoxins have been implicated in human health disorders including hepatocellular carcinoma, aflatoxicosis, Reye's syndrome and chronic hepatitis.
In the European Union (EU), the limit for aflatoxins is 0.05 mg/L or 50 parts per trillion (50 ppt).