The permitted level of aflatoxins in milk will remain 0.25 micrograms per litre of milk – the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture has decided.
Aflatoxins are a family of toxins produced by certain fungi that are found on agricultural crops such as maize (corn), peanuts, cottonseed, and tree nuts.
An MP from the Democratic Party, Goran Jesic, who was among the first politicians to talk about the level of aflatoxins in the dairy products produced in Serbia exceeding 0.05 micrograms per litre in 2012, said that the state has failed to undertake protective measures because our area was known to be susceptible to the appearance of aflatoxins in dairy products due to the special production and storing process.
“Since Serbia is already susceptible to aflatoxins, particularly during the drought in which this type of fungi thrives, we should have used the healthy maize yield from last year”, Jesic adds.
However, dairy producers claim that the concentration of 0.5 micrograms of aflatoxins per 1 litre of milk (which is 100 times higher than the European standards, and twice higher than stipulated in the relevant regulation in Serbia), cannot cause any health problems as confirmed by the analysis carried out by the Military Medical Academy (VMA).
Also, they go on to say, this aflatoxin concentration is acceptable in ¾ of the countries in the world, and the EU countries are among the very few which allow no more than 0.05 micrograms of aflatoxins per litre.
If the same were applicable to the Serbian dairy producers, most of the dairy farmers would not be able to secure enough maize fodder for their cows, and both the livestock and dairy industry would be in crisis.
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