Submitted to: World Health Organization
Publication Type: Monograph
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2001
Publication Date: 11/1/2001
Citation: HENRY, S.H., WHITAKER, T.B., RABBANI, I., BOWERS, J., PARK, D., PRICE, W., BOSCH, F.X., PENNINGTON, J., VERGER, P., YOSHIZAWA, T. AFLATOXIN M1. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION TECHNICAL REPORT. FAO FOOD AND NUTRITION PAPER 74. 2001. P. 1-102.
Technical Abstract: The Expert Committee was requested by the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants to conduct a quantitative risk assessment of exposure to aflatoxin M1 in milk at maximum levels of 0.05 and 0.5 ug/kg. Aflatoxins M1 and M2 are the hydroxylated metabolites of aflatoxin B1 and B2 and may be found in milk or milk products obtained from livestock that have ingested contaminated feed. The main sources of aflatoxins in feed are peanut meal, maize and cottonseed meal. The Expert Committee, at its 49th meeting, considered estimates of the carcinogenic potency of aflatoxins and the potential risk associated with their intake and concluded that the carcinogenic potency of aflatoxin M1 in sensitive species is about one order of magnitude less than that of aflatoxin B1. In particular, the Committee noted that the carcinogenic potency of aflatoxin B1 is substantially higher in carriers of hepatitis B virus (HbsAg+ individuals). .Populations with both a high prevalence of HbsAg+ and a high aflatoxin intake might benefit from reductions in aflatoxin intake. They noted that vaccination against hepatitis B virus would reduce the number of carriers of the virus, and thus reduce the potency of the aflatoxins in vaccinated populations, leading to a reduction in the risk for liver cancer. The Committee, using hypothetical aflatoxin B1 standards of 20 and 10 ug/kg, concluded that changing the standards from 20 to 10 ug/kg, would not result in any observable difference in rates of liver cancer. The Expert Committee at this 56th meeting, reviewed studies published since its 49th meeting, as well as other information, to elucidate further the carcinogenic potencies of aflatoxin M1 and aflatoxin B1 and the differences between animal species in their sensitivity to aflatoxins.