“Fungal toxins are poisoning Africa’s children,” says new report

Science 2016

Fungal toxins on food is a massive problem especially for children; refugee camp, eastern DRC, Kate Holt/Oxfam (CC BY 2.0)

Professor Rebecca Stoltzfus and collaborators contributed to a recent report released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), discussing the “invisible” epidemic of fungal toxins in food that stunt growth and delay development in many children in Africa and parts of Asia:

“The toxins have long been known to cause liver cancer and, in high enough concentrations, death. But this is the first time that they have been shown by multiple studies to contribute significantly to childhood development.”

The report was highlighted in an article by Science magazine (Click here for the full article) and recommends strategies including field treatment, improved approaches to food storage, and diet diversification which will likely be part of the solution moving forward. For more information on mycotoxin control, please see the full report by IARC here.

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