" Aflatoxins are potent toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, immunosuppressive agents, produced as secondary metabolites by the fungus Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus on variety of food products. Among 18 different types of aflatoxins identified, major members are aflatoxin B1, B2, G1 and G2. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is normally predominant in amount in cultures as well as in food products. Pure AFB1 is pale-white to yellow crystalline, odorless solid. Aflatoxins are soluble in methanol, chloroform, actone, acetonitrile. A. flavus typically produces AFB1 and AFB2, where as A. parasiticus produce AFG1 and AFG2 as well as AFB1 and AFB2. Four other aflatoxins M1, M2, B2A, G2A which may be produced in minor amounts were subsequently isolated from cultures of A. flavus and A. parasiticus. A number of closely related compounds namely aflatoxin GM1, parasiticol and aflatoxicol are also produced by A. flavus. Aflatoxin M1and M2 are major metabolites of aflatoxin B1 and B2 respectively, found in milk of animals that have consumed feed contaminated with aflatoxins. "
The following is a letter from Purina describing what steps have been taken and who is effected.
Land O’Lakes Purina Feed
Eastern U.S. Voluntary Feed Product Retrieval
Our recent aflatoxin-related voluntary feed product retrieval has resulted in a number of questions from animal owners and veterinary professionals.
Updated information on this situation is provided below.
§ In mid-February our own incoming ingredient testing and routine state regulatory testing simultaneously indicated aflatoxin above FDA action levels in certain feeds manufactured at our Statesville, North Carolina feed plant.
o We immediately implemented an internal investigation and testing regimen to
determine which products might be affected and, as a precautionary measure,
initiated a voluntary retrieval of affected products (February 14, 2008) even prior to
receiving all testing results.
§ Our investigation indicated a single ingredient from a single supplier, serving three eastern plants (Statesville, N.C.; Harrisburg, Penn.; Guilderland, N.Y.), as the aflatoxin source.
Note: No other plants are involved in the product retrieval.
o We suspended purchases from this supplier and, as additional testing was
conducted, appropriately expanded the voluntary product retrieval to include specific
products, produced during specific time frames at these plants.
o Only products distributed in the following eastern states are included in the retrieval: Connecticut; Delaware; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina;
Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; eastern Tennessee; northern Georgia.
§ Products manufactured at these plants after the following dates are NOT included in the voluntary retrieval: February 8, 2008, Harrisburg and Statesville; March 10, 2008, Guilderland.
§ The decision was made to implement the product retrieval through local dealers, whose firsthand relationships and knowledge of customer purchasing patterns offered the best opportunity to get information regarding specific products and lot numbers to potentially affected customers as quickly and clearly as possible. Dealers have been responsive and helpful throughout the process.
§ As of the date of this posting, we have no confirmed cases of aflatoxin-related animal health issues. We continue to urge customers with concerns about their animals to contact local veterinarians.
§ We deeply regret the concern this situation may be causing for our customers and for their veterinary professionals. We are continually evaluating measures to further strengthen our quality programs. Animal health and welfare, along with customer trust and confidence, remain our utmost priorities.
· If you have further questions, contact our veterinary website www.equinevetnutrition.com
· For a list of products included in the voluntary retrieval, see our website atwww.purinamills.com