Mycotoxins in Non-GMO Feed Grains
Eager to supply the growing demand for organically produced milk and meat, many farms are testing corn, soy, and other feed components for GMOs. But what about mycotoxins?
The limited supply of non-GMO organic grains, which we wrote about last time, sometimes forces buyers to accept more broken and imperfect grains…the most susceptible to fungal infestation and possibly the development of mycotoxins, a toxic byproduct of certain fungi.
Some mycotoxins not only reduce yields, but also cause irreparable harm and even death. Whether feeding pigs, cattle, or poultry, mycotoxin testing is crucial to the success and profitability of organic milk and meat production.
For example, pigs are extremely sensitive to mycotoxins; breeding losses and hampered weight gain can reduce margins to the point of non-profitability. Mycotoxins are detrimental to poultry as well, one of the fastest-growing segments of organic demand. With effects such as poor gut integrity and gizzard erosion, broiler, turkey, and egg production margins are at risk.
The U.S. FDA regulates mycotoxin levels in food and feed, but organic producers are limited in their mycotoxin risk management and health prevention tools. By testing frequently along the feed supply chain, farmers, suppliers and producers alike can be confident in the animals’ health and better capitalize on this growing market.
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