Dairy farmers required to test milk for aflatoxin - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dairy farmers required to test milk for aflatoxin

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BLACK HAWK COUNTY (KWWL) -

A fungus is forcing area milk producers to take extra precautions. State agricultural officials announcing on Wednesday that the Iowa Department of Agriculture will require aflatoxin screening and testing of milk received in Iowa by Friday.

Aflatoxin can sometimes found in drought-stressed corn. It's a concern because aflatoxin is a known carcinogen and can cause damage to a person's liver.

Hansen's Dairy Farm in Hudson already makes quality control a top priority.

"Every batch of milk is tested for antibiotics. That's all that's required by the state. We also run our own bacteria checks to make sure our shelf life is within standard," said Brad Hansen, part-owner of Hansen's Dairy.

State agricultural officials say the aflatoxin can find its way into the dairy cow's feed.

"If dairy cows eat corn that contains 20 parts per billion of aflatoxins, that it can pass through to their milk and be detected at the action level set by the FDA," said Steve Moline of the Iowa Department of Agriculture.

Hansen's Dairy is able to keep close tabs on what their cows are eating.

"We harvest our own feed so we have a little bit more control of what we get," said Hansen.

Iowa agricultural officials say this is a preventive measure. They say no aflatoxin has been found in the state of Iowa in milk or anywhere across the country so they say it's safe to drink up.

"In an abundance of caution we made the decision to issue an order that would require raw milk to be tested before it enters a processing facility," said Moline.

"In order for the public to be safe and feel safe, we need to test for it," said Hansen.

The screening for aflatoxin will continue indefinitely.

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