Toxic Peanuts

Gary W. Miller, Ph.D. gmill02 at EMORY.EDU
Wed Apr 2 12:29:37 EST 1997

Aflatoxins are found in nearly all peanut samples.  Depending on how you view 
carcinogenicity, any could be bad.  Typically the big name brands do a better job 
of rejected the peanuts with the highest levels, but still will show 5-10 ppb.  For 
all you southeners.  Boiled peanuts by the roadside are not at all screened for 
these toxins and I was instructed never to eat them by a toxicologist who 
specialized in mycotoxins.

Contaminated peanuts do appear different, and at the big peanut butter 
companies an electronic eye checks every single peanut half for altered 
appearance.  If you like to shell you own, toss out the discolored and mishapen 

I do not agree that this is not a public concern.  Alfatoxin a1 is considered the 
most potent mutagen via Ames testing, that is the most mutagenic compound 
EVER tested by this method.    

This underlines my view that naturally occurring toxins are as bad if not worse as 
those that are man made.  Organic food scares me.  Give me preservatives.  I 
would rather deal with a known than and unknown.

Gary W. Miller, Ph.D.
Emory University

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