IUBio

aflatoxin in peanuts

Lucas Bernard lucas.bernard at att.net
Mon Oct 11 13:30:50 EST 1999


To answer your points one by one.

First, "Is toxnet for professional scientists or not?"  It would seem that the
bulk of the postings concerned a certain David Moore who may or may not be
involved in certain disreputable acts.  If this is of particular concern to
toxicologists, I have no idea about why.

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

The gulf war.  You will find many references in major newspapers.

Third, "Are we forgetting SE Asia?  Further, it is not peanut consumption, it's
consumption of moldy peanuts that is the problem."  No, we do not forget SE
Asia.  However your logic is bad.  To give an example is not to deny all other
possible instances.  And yes, it is moldy peanuts that are the problem.

Fourth, " Careful cleaning is not the key to prevention.  Inspection for
mold contaminated peanuts is the key."  Certainly elimination of moldy peanuts
is the first priority and I am sure the farmers do a good job of getting rid of
them, but does the mold distinguish between live peanuts and peanut particles
and shell fragments that are lying about in the nooks an crannies of the
processing machinery?  I doubt it.

The facts are these:  Aflatoxin has been found in candies of foreign origin
(there are USDA bulletins to his effect).  With the increased popularity of Thai
and other cuisines, peanuts from all over are becoming a larger percentage of
America's diet.  Aflatoxin is a deadly poison; it is not like drinking sour
milk.  Americans are largely unfamiliar with aflatoxin.  Many consumers think
that the consumption of "raw" unprocessed food is better than processed food.
The purpose of Newsgroups is for the free exchange of ideas.  If aflatoxin is
not a threat, I would be happy to hear it.  Just as one need not be a
toxicologist to understand the threat that botulism poses to home canned goods,
so one need not be a toxicologist to understand that moldy peanuts can be a very
serious matter.  Even if the USDA and the growers do a perfect job (which I
doubt), the public should be made aware of the dangers posed.

Daniel Byrd wrote:

> 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
> unsubscribe.
>
> >  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.
>
> dbyrd
> --
>
> Daniel M. Byrd III, Ph.D., D.A.B.T.
> President,
> 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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