aflatoxin in peanuts

Daniel Byrd ctraps at RADIX.NET
Mon Oct 11 12:38:51 EST 1999

Lucas Bernard wrote:

> Few are aware of the dangers of aflatoxin in peanuts.

I don't get it.  Is toxnet for professional scientists or not?  If it is,
this message makes no sense.  I cannot imagine a toxicologist who is not
aware of aflatoxin.  There is othing in the note about joint effects with
HBC and HCV, either.  It's not even an informative note for lay readers.  If
toxnet is not for professional scientists, please let me know, so I can

>  Aflatoxin was one of the chemicals that was suspect in the Iraqi crisis.

Which Iraqi crisis?  Methyl mercury treatment of seeds?  The Gulf war?

> Aflatoxin is, by some researchers, considered the cause of the high rate
> of liver cancer found in The Sudan, where peanut consumption is high.

Are we forgetting SE Asia?  Further, it is not peanut consumption, it's
consumption of moldy peanuts that is the problem.

> Key to the prevention of aflatoxin in domestic peanuts is the careful
> cleaning of peanut handling equipment.  Anyone who has spent any time on a
> farm knows how well these standards are followed.

Come on!  Does the writer of this note know anything about the subject of
the note. Careful cleaning is not the key to prevention.  Inspection for
mold contaminated peanuts is the key.  USDA and the growers do an excellent
job of the inspection work, which keeps levels of aflatoxin in peanuts and
peanut-derived products very low.

The thing about this note that is shocking is the writer's lack of
understanding of aflatoxin.


Daniel M. Byrd III, Ph.D., D.A.B.T.
Consultants in Toxicology, Risk Assessment and Product Safety
Suite 707 North
560 N Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202)484-7707 - phone
(202)484-0616 - fax
ctraps at radix.net - email

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