FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Tricia Braid
BLOOMINGTON, Ill—Corn farmers, elevators, and customers will all see the benefit of action taken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
At the urging of the Illinois Department of Agriculture Acting-Director Bob Flider, the FDA approved a waiver request regarding the blending of corn that tests positive for Aflatoxin. The Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) and the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois supported Flider in his waiver request.
“This waiver request and its approval is a great example of how government, industry, and farmers can work together to dampen the impacts of an unfortunate situation brought on by circumstances completely outside anyone’s control,” said Jeff Scates, ICGA President and a farmer from Shawneetown, IL.
Aflatoxin in corn results from a mold, and is a condition not unexpected in a drought year. Its presence is especially exacerbated this year with the widespread nature of the hot and dry conditions experienced during the growing season.
“The FDA’s waiver adds stability to all levels of the value chain,” explained Scates.
“It’s been a tough year and emotions have been running high for months on end,” Scates added. “This ruling protects our grain markets and customers, while allowing a bit more breathing room for farmers and their elevators.”
The FDA’s decision does not mandate that elevators accept corn that tests positive for Aflatoxin at any level. It allows voluntary compliance with an expanded framework for marketing the grain. Elevators or grain blenders must first apply for and be granted the Aflatoxin Compliance Certification.
ICGA has maintained a drought resources area on its website. Information on Aflatoxin, the recent waiver, and other issues impacting farmers and consumers is available at www.ilcorn.org/drought.