Most of this year’s corn crop in Serbia is contaminated and contains toxic substances, said General Manager of “SGS Serbia” Marinko Ukropina.
Ukropina said for the “Hungarian So” that the SGS laboratories of Serbia, a company that deals with the food quality control, found the presence of the aflatoxins in the corn, the most cancerogenic compound known that can be found in food and animal feed.
According to him, the contamination of the corn is caused by the drought and that, on the basis of the samples they tested, it could be concluded that only 32 percent of the Serbian corn crop is safe for the human consumption.
“So far, conducted tests indicate higher then permitted concentration of aflatoxin and we are calling for an urgent response by the relevant service and all of the entities in the chain of corn production, storage, processing and sales,” said Ukropina.
According to him, based on 375 samples tested in the laboratory of the company “SGS Serbia”, it can be concluded that only 32 percent of the corn safe for human consumption. The test results were also checked in other laboratories in their network.
“Data has a statistical weight and is representative of the entire state’s maze in terms of the aflatoxin and it indicates contamination. All the responsible agencies have to act to protect the most vulnerable population categories. Certainly the priority should be given to the monitoring of the already stored corn” Ukropina said.
According to the director, “SGS Serbia”, a part of the contaminated maize that meets the quality requirements for animal feed can be used in mixtures for animal feed, while the rest can only be directed to the production of bioethanol and starch.
Ukropina also said that this year’s aflatoxin problem has assumed pandemic proportions and is more or less present in all the countries involved in growing corn, such as Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, but the degree of contamination is more favorable due to the fact that adequate measures are implemented in pre-harvest and post-harvest periods.
The director of the “Grain Serbia,” Vukosav Saković responded to media inquiries by saying that there is no reason to panic due to the maize crop infection by the carcinogen aflatoxin. Saković says that through increased control and inspection can preserve food safety for both humans and animals.