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“The average person can’t tell whether the mold contains aflatoxin. You can’t tell if it’s highly toxic or an innocuous fungus. So people are used to eating it and don’t know that they’re poisoning themselves or their children.”  said Barbara Stinson of the Meridian Institute, a public policy organization

MIP - Moldy food quote

Molds (fungi) are some of the oldest living organisms in existence. They have been around for millions of years.

Mold can be found just about everywhere. 50% of homes, and 85% of commercial buildings have mold. It is in the air, on the grass and most definitely in our food, and destroys about a third of all arable food crops.

It has been estimated by the United Nations that worldwide, approximately 25% of crops are affected by mold and mycotoxins annually (CAST, 1989), of which the most notorious are aflatoxins produced by the mold known as apsergillus.

The annual economic costs of mold and mycotoxins to the U.S. agricultural economy is estimated to average $1.4 billion (CAST, 2003).

The USDA says; “Mycotoxins are poisonous substances produced by certain molds found primarily in grain and nut crops, but are also known to be on celery, grape juice, apples, and other produce. There are many of them and scientists are continually discovering new ones.

Aflatoxin is a cancer-causing poison produced by certain fungi in or on foods and feeds, especially in field corn and peanuts. They are probably the best known and most intensively researched mycotoxins in the world. Aflatoxins have been associated with various diseases, such as aflatoxicosis in livestock, domestic animals, and humans throughout the world.

Many countries try to limit exposure to aflatoxin by regulating and monitoring its presence on commodities intended for use as food and feed. The prevention of aflatoxin is one of the most challenging toxicology issues of present time.

Aflatoxins are considered unavoidable contaminants of food and feed, even where good manufacturing practices have been followed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the USDA monitor peanuts and field corn for aflatoxin and can remove any food or feed with unacceptable levels of it.”

The FDA even allows mold in our food because it is so hard to control in our world with billions of people who need food and under our current growing standards. According to the FDA, the agency “set these action levels because it is economically impractical to grow, harvest, or process raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring, unavoidable defects.”

A new 2016 report by the United Nations warns that warming temperatures from climate change could cause crops to accumulate mold mycotoxins that can lead to cancer and death — at higher rates.

The U.N. report said, “Another important category of toxin associated with changing climate is mycotoxins, chemical by-products of fungal growth. Mycotoxins can cause severe damage to the health of animals and humans even at small concentration. Mycotoxin producing fungi infect many crops such as coffee, groundnut, maize, oilseeds, peanut, sorghum, tree nuts, and wheat.

Aflatoxins are a type of mycotoxin produced by a species of Aspergillus fungi. About 4.5 billion people in developing countries are exposed to uncontrolled and unmonitored amounts of aflatoxins.

MIP - aflatoxin-a-fungal-toxin-infecting-the-food-chain

Acute exposure can be lethal, while chronic exposure can lead to cancer. Evidence further suggests it may also stunt foetal and infant development, block nutrient uptake, and suppress immunity.Poorer farmers may feed mouldy grains to livestock, but this is not a safe option. Aflatoxins and other mycotoxin contaminants can reduce animal productivity and increase mortality, and they can persist in animal-sourced food products such as milk to impair human health and nutritional status.”(2)

In 2012, the Scientific American had reported on a drought increased the spread of aspergillus (Aspergillus flavus) which infected the 2012 corn crop, rendering significant portions of the harvest unfit for consumption.

“We have a big aflatoxin problem,” says Charles Woloshuk, a botanist and plant pathologist at Purdue University. “There are loads of corn coming to the [grain] elevators that have been rejected.”

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) estimate more than five billion people worldwide are at risk for chronic exposure through contaminated foods, according to a March 2012 study published in PLoS One.(3)

I had written about this mold in my article, “Aspergillus: One of the most common and deadly organisms in existence,” and how aspergillusit  release spores that also produce toxic secondary metabolites that are called mycotoxins. Myco means fungal, and many molds are known to have toxic fungal metabolites that poison humans, animals and plants.

Aspergillus produces aflatoxins that are associated with both toxicity and carcinogenicity in human and animal populations. The diseases caused by aflatoxin consumption are loosely called aflatoxicoses. Acute aflatoxicosis results in death; chronic aflatoxicosis results in cancer, immune suppression, and other “slow” pathological conditions.

You see, mold is everywhere and it is definitely in the food we eat. At this point in time, it is almost unavoidable. Unfortunately for many people, it will be their undoing and most won’t even know the cause of their illness, disease and or demise.

In fact, I strongly believe we are in the middle of a modern day plague that is just starting to rear it’s ugly moldy head.

But this time, we have been warned. This time it will be televised, quantified and to some people in population control circles, justified.

Sources:

  1. USDA
  2. United Nations
  3. Scientific American