Mycotoxins that contaminate crops and animal feed have been recognized as a risk to farm animals, and account for considerable economic costs to the feed and food industries. Their widespread occurrence and related threat has been documented consistently in the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey.
Dangers to feed safety, sustainability
“Mycotoxins are among the most important safety risks for the future livestock feed industry and security of the feed supply chain,” stated Dr Gunther Antonissen of Ghent University in Belgium.
Fungi-produced mycotoxins endanger more than feed safety and security. They also hamper productivity, adding additional cost to the feed and food industry while also affecting the environment.
“Due to their negative effects on farm animal productivity and health, mycotoxins prevent the animal protein industry from achieving an efficient and sustainable use of natural resources,” observed Dr. Wulf-Dieter Moll of the BIOMIN Research Center.
Harmful mycotoxins do not have to contaminate feed in high concentrations to make their negative effects felt in farm animals. “At present, clinical mycotoxicosis caused by high doses is rare,” explained Dr Antonissen.
“However, also the ingestion of low to moderate levels of these toxins cause an array of metabolic, physiologic and immunologic disturbances, with the gastrointestinal tract as one of the major target organs,” he added.