Toxic Corn Shipments From Nicaragua Stopped!

A new shipment of grain contaminated with aflatoxins and carcinogens was detected. This time there was about 65,454 kilos of white corn, which came in three containers from Nicaragua.

The detection was made by the authorities of the State Phytosanitary Service(SFE) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG). The shipment was returned to the country’s north.

The maximum limit for aflatoxin in corn is 20 parts per million and shipments came with levels from 62 to 91 parts per million, according to the results of the Laboratory of the Research Center in Grain Seeds (CIGRAS), University of Costa Rica (UCR).

Each container brought 21,818 kilos of corn. The three were from the same exporter and had been admitted to Costa Rica by the same importer. This detection was performed on the Phytosanitary Control Station Peñas Blancas.

Given the different intercepts that have been made lately, the SFE recommends that importers verify that any contract will protect against a possible return of the product by such problems.

Aflatoxins are a group of substances produced by certain fungi in small quantities, as secondary metabolites. Are of great importance in stored grain industry, as their potential for toxicity is very high.

About 20 presently known chemically similar compounds are high toxicity and carcinogenicity.

At the end of 2011 another detection was made on three white corn shipments that exceeded the limit of this substance. The three containers brought 500 sacks of grain each.

The SFE takes samples of rigor to the arrival of shipments. These are then sent to the laboratory for the UCR when there are suspicions that do not comply with the requirements of phytosanitary authorities.

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