Process Management

News 916 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Kenya: High levels of aflatoxins remain

Almost half of animal feed for livestock in Nairobi is contaminated with toxins that might be dangerous to humans.

According to a study by the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (Kari), Nairobi University and the Livestock Ministry, half of the feedstuffs contain aflatoxins. Mr John Kariuki, the lead researcher said that commercial and home-made rations were highly contaminated with mycotoxins. This has significant impact on health of both livestock and human beings, he said.

Study on feed concentrates
The researchers studied 100 farmers in Nairobi and sampled a wide range of feed concentrates used on the farms, which included, cotton seed meal, maize germ, commercial dairy meal and home made rations, of which at least 50% was contaminated with aflatoxins. Farmers in the areas covered are big users of commercial feeds, poultry and breweries by-products.

Feed safety is lacking
In 2004, a large outbreak of aflatoxins caused over 100 deaths in Kenya.  Also more than 100 people died after consuming contaminated grains in 2005, while another 50 have died this year. The team however said there was little evidence of contamination in milk, meat or eggs. "At the moment, Kenya is unable to export meat and meet products to western countries due to stringent requirements related to safety," Mr Kariuki said. He asked the Government to ensure the quality and safety of materials entering the human food chain. However, this is diffcult because the Government has no laws on feed safety.

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