The Pet Food industry is fully aware of hidden dangers that fungi in foods represent. The very same dangers lurk in human foods too yet the general public is totally ignorant of the risks. Aflatoxins are commonly found in corn, peanuts, cottonseed, milk, and tree nuts. Aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2 are four naturally-occurring forms of aflatoxins, with aflatoxin B1 being the most potent, prevalent and carcinogenic.
In the germ world, fungi usually lack the flair of viruses or bacteria. To people with normal, healthy immune systems, a fungus will rarely show itself — even though you carry around a microscopic film of fungus on your hair and skin, and take in invisible clouds of fungal spores with each breath. While many other microbes prefer to make a living through disease and death, a fungus is often content to wait for its host to die of something else. A terrific read by Science News.
Although fungal infections contribute substantially to human morbidity and mortality, the impact of these diseases on human health is not widely appreciated. Moreover, despite the urgent need for efficient diagnostic tests and safe and effective new drugs and vaccines, research into the pathophysiology of human fungal infections lags behind that of diseases caused by other pathogens.
Schering-Plough Corporation, Enzon Pharmaceuticals, and Merck & Co., Inc. originally sponsored this very informative Web site focused entirely on fungi and molds. Now "Dr. Fungus" is an independent Website dedicated to providing a wide range of scholarly peer-reviewed contemporary and historical information regarding fungi. It seeks to promote an understanding of fungi and the ways that fungal diseases of humans, animals, and plants affect people living throughout the world.
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. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimates that 25% of the world's food crops are affected by mycotoxins, of which the most notorious are aflatoxins.
Aflatoxins are considered unavoidable contaminants of food and feed, even where good manufacturing practices have been followed.