Provincial official publishes results of aflatoxin tests

BELGRADE -- Goran Ješić has published the results of laboratory analyses of milk done in Munich, showing that some samples had aflatoxin content exceeding 0.5 micrograms.

(sxc.hu, stock)
(sxc.hu, stock)

Vojvodina's Provincial Secretariat for Agriculture, headed by Ješić, on February 20 ordered milk samples to be taken from retail stores in the province, and then sent to two reference laboratories in Germany.

After the results of tests done according to the ELISA method came back previously, today the results of the HPLC tests, carried out by accredited laboratory MUVA Kempten from Munich, were also published.

They showed that in all samples the value of aflatoxin exceeded the EU maximum of 0.05 micrograms per kilogram, while four samples also contained aflatoxin concentrations that exceed the present, ten times higher, Serbian limit of 0.5 micrograms per kilogram.

These came from small privately-operated dairies, such as Tomić from Šašinci, with 1.2 and 0.87 micrograms in two different samples, and Sirela from Maglić, that produced milk with 0.58 micrograms of aflatoxin per kilogram. At the same time, milk from Gulmlek dairy from Stapar had 0.53 micrograms per kilogram.

The remaining samples were taken from almost all major dairies in Serbia, and it was said today that "none of them had aflatoxin concentration under 0.2 micrograms per kilogram" - which is much higher than what was allowed at the time the samples were taken.

At the time of the sampling, the permitted level of aflatoxin M1 was 0.05 micrograms per kilogram. Two years ago, Serbia had the limit of 0.5 micrograms, but the authorities recently decided to revert to 0.5 micrograms.

However, they are now announcing that the limit would go back to 0.05 micrograms.

Aflatoxin limit down to 0.05 "in a few days"

Serbia will decrease the legal limit of aflatoxin content in milk to the earlier 0.05 micrograms per kilogram, Agriculture Minister Goran Knežević said on Tuesday.

Last week's decision to increase the legal level of aflatoxin to 0.5 was a last-ditch measure aimed at saving small farmers and milk producers, Knežević told reporters after a meeting with his colleagues from the region.

Knežević recalled that the government has taken the necessary measures to overcome the current situation, such as distributing uncontaminated corn from the commodity reserves to farmers, along with certain neutralizers of aflatoxin in milk.

He said the regulations on animal feed and milk will be harmonized in the coming period, noting that the discrepancy between these regulations has resulted in a situation where "animals are eating good feed, while raw milk is not up to the legal standard".