KEY FACTS ABOUT MYCOTOXIN
- Mycotoxins are naturally occurring toxins produced by certain moulds (fungi) and can be found in food.
- The moulds grow on a variety of different crops and foodstuffs including cereals, nuts, spices, dried fruits, apples and coffee beans, often under warm and humid conditions.
Read also: How to minimize the risk from Mycotoxin
- Mycotoxins can cause a variety of adverse health effects and pose a serious health threat to both humans and livestock.
- The adverse health effects of mycotoxins range from acute poisoning to long-term effects such as immune deficiency and cancer.
- A scientific expert committee jointly convened by WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – called JECFA – is the international body responsible for evaluating the health risk from natural toxins including mycotoxins.
- International standards and codes of practice to limit exposure to mycotoxins from certain foods are established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission based on JECFA assessments.
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