Iowa Gets FDA OK to Blend Corn with Aflatoxin

This photo from Sept. 12, 2012 shows a stream of corn, ground up for animal feed, being whipped up by strong winds in Arapahoe, Neb. The latest update on the worst U.S. drought in decades shows that farmers bringing in their weakened corn crops had some relief with recent rains that soaked much of middle America. The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 shows two-thirds of Iowa now in extreme or exceptional drought, the two worst categories. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

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By Kara Kelly

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa agriculture department says federal officials have approved a request for corn contaminated by a poison-producing fungus to be blended with other corn for animal feed.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced Tuesday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the agency's request to blend corn containing more than 20 parts per billion of aflatoxin with corn that has lower levels or no aflatoxin.

The FDA approved a similar request in 2003 and 2005.

Aflatoxins are a group of chemicals produced by certain mold fungi. They can occur more frequently in hot, dry summer conditions.

The agriculture departments say the blended corn is safe for animals. Corn with more than 20 parts per billion can't be used for human consumption or as feed for dairy animals.

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