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Title: Current and changing perspectives on mycotoxins and their potential health risks worldwide

item Voss, Kenneth - Ken
item Bolger, Michael
item Henry, Sara
item Adams, Julie
item Wu, Felicia

Submitted to: Toxicological Sciences
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/9/2010
Publication Date: 3/6/2011
Citation: Voss, K.A., Bolger, M., Henry, S.H., Adams, J.G., Wu, F. 2011. Current and changing perspectives on mycotoxins and their potential health risks worldwide [abstract]. Toxicological Sciences (Supplement 2, The Toxicologist). 120:462.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Mycotoxins are ubiquitous contaminants of cereals and other commodities. Interventions at the agricultural, commodity processing, or food preparation stages of the “field to plate” sequence have significantly contributed to reducing human exposures. However, establishment of tolerable intakes and regulatory policies limiting the levels of aflatoxins, fumonisins, ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol and other mycotoxins known or suspected to cause human disease continues as a first line of defense for protecting consumer health. Contrasting approaches to safety and risk assessment can lead to the establishment of different tolerable intakes or regulatory standards as, for example, between the US and the EU. Improved commodity sampling and monitoring procedures and additional toxicology data reduce uncertainty in risk assessment and allow refinement of regulations for mycotoxins, as illustrated by changes in limits for aflatoxins in tree nuts which have facilitated international trade without compromising public health. However, regulatory approaches are not nearly as effective for protecting public health in lesser developed countries where enforcement of regulations tends to be less stringent and the best quality commodities are often exported. Therefore, implementation of multifaceted "bottom up" approaches involving better pre-harvest and post-harvest practices, improved nutrition, and clinical interventions is needed to effectively reduce exposures to aflatoxins and other mycotoxins. Recent research has increased understanding of how mycotoxins interact with commodity and food matrix constituents, describes improved biomarkers for exposure assessments, and provides new findings on the toxicology and mechanisms of action that are essential for both regulatory and "bottom up" approaches to reduce mycotoxin exposure and maintain safe food supplies worldwide.