Insect-resistant, GM, Bt corn could help Kenya keep cancer-causing mycotoxins out of its food supply

ehp a g
Credit: Ebru TV Kenya

[The Kenyan] Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) slapped a ban on maize imports from Uganda and Tanzania, saying tests on the maize had revealed high levels of mycotoxins “that are consistently beyond safety limits.”

Mycotoxins, particularly aflatoxins, have posed a raging threat to food security, livelihoods and human life in the country. Aflatoxin is a toxic fungal metabolite that is classified as a Group I carcinogen and which occurs naturally in maize and a number of other cereal foods. It is known to cause liver cancer in humans, as well as immune system dysfunction, and growth impairment in humans and animals.

Advances in biotechnology have presented a viable solution to the nagging problem of aflatoxin, with experts citing Bt maize as a strong candidate.


Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

In addition to improved yields and reduced insect damage, the end result is improved maize grain quality making it less exposed to fungus or moulds that cause aflatoxin.

“In East Europe, levels of mycotoxins were significantly lower in Bt maize than in conventional maize. The TELA Bt maize reduces the need for sprayed insecticides, making the process of farming maize much safer for farmers, consumers and the environment,” [says Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization’s Dr. Mwimali Murenga.]

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

More than 2.8 million people have lost their lives due to the pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend