Will climate change increase the risk of a toxin in U.S. corn?
Climate Change food security Aflatoxin

Will climate change increase the risk of a toxin in U.S. corn?

Dr. Lindy Whitehouse
Dr. Lindy Whitehouse

In 10 seconds? Researchers predict that over 89.5% of corn-growing counties across 15 US states will be affected by aflatoxin contamination between 2031 and 2040. The findings from their study could have worrying implications for global food security.

What’s the discovery? Aflatoxin is a toxic compound that is produced by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. This toxin can infect several crops and can cause serious health issues if ingested by humans or animals including dairy cows, sheep, and goats. While aflatoxin infections are common in the United States, contamination in the areas that make up the corn belt has rarely been seen. However, this could be set to change. Using various climate models, researchers have found that aflatoxin is going to become more of a problem in the American Corn Belt which could have a devastating impact on global food security.


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