This panel considers and debates one of the greatest obstacles to food security in many parts of the world: mycotoxin. Aflatoxin is a particularly dangerous mycotoxin produced predominantly by two Aspergillus fungi. It colonizes a variety of important food and feed crops both pre- and post-harvest, including groundnuts, tree nuts, maize, rice, figs and other dried foods, spices, crude vegetable oils and cocoa. Contaminated crops have significant health risks for both humans and animals, having been linked to retarded growth and development (stunting), immunosuppression and liver cancer. The aflatoxin issue has other, complex implications for food security and, by limiting farmers’ access to international markets, can lead to food waste and economic instability.
-John Lamb, Principal Associate, Abt Associates
-Dr. Kitty Cardwell, National Program Leader, USDA-NIFA
-Barbara Stinson, Senior Partner, Meridian Institute; Project Director, Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa
-Moderator: Dr. Howard-Yana Shapiro, Chief Agricultural Officer, Mars, Incorporated