Blending of corn containing aflatoxin approved

Blending of corn containing aflatoxin approved

Posted Sept. 19, 2012


The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced Sept. 18 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the department’s request to allow corn containing more than 20 parts per billion (ppb) of aflatoxin to be blended with corn with lower levels or no aflatoxin for animal feed.

This allows the corn to be safely fed to livestock pursuant to the FDA’s long-standing guidelines.

Before doing any blending of corn containing aflatoxin, the grain dealers and the department must sign a compliance agreement. A memorandum outlining the application process and a copy of the compliance agreement will be sent to all grain dealers licensed by the department and also can be found at under “Hot Topics.”


The compliance agreement outlines the requirements for grain dealers that will be blending corn containing aflatoxin.


These requirements include that the blended product is below the appropriate aflatoxin action level in corn used as or in animal feed as outlined in FDA Guidance Document, Compliance Policy Guide- Section 683.100, “Action Levels for Aflatoxin in Animal Feeds.”  FDA granted Iowa a similar request during droughts in 2003 and 2005 when aflatoxin was found in the state.


Also, each batch of blended corn must be analyzed to determine the aflatoxin level. The analysis must be performed using approved sampling and analysis protocols and testing procedures outlined by the USDA Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA). These results must be provided to the purchaser of the blended corn. The purchaser also must provide written assurance that the corn will be used for feed consistent with FDA guidance.


Finally, the blended corn must be clearly identified and labeled for animal feed use only and corn containing aflatoxin levels greater than 500 ppb cannot be blended.


On Aug. 15, 2012, the department submitted a request to FDA to allow corn containing more than 20 ppb of aflatoxin to be blended with non-aflatoxin containing corn for animal feed.


The department also has started requiring the testing of all milk for aflatoxin on Aug. 31, 2012.


The FDA has established guidelines for acceptable aflatoxin levels in corn based on its intended use. Corn containing aflatoxin in concentrations of greater than 20 ppb cannot be used for human consumption and cannot be used for feed for dairy animals or for immature livestock of others species. Corn containing aflatoxin at 100 ppb or less can be used in breeding cattle and swine and mature poultry. Corn with 200 ppb or less can be used with finishing swine greater than 100 lbs. in weight and corn with 300 ppb or less can be used in finishing beef cattle.


More information about aflatoxin in corn can be found on the ISU Extension and Outreach “Dealing with Disasters” page at