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Feed to fork risk assessment of mycotoxins under climate change influences – recent developments


Mycotoxins are toxins produced by toxigenic fungi and are potentially present in different feed and foodstuffs, including animal products, with the latter typically resulting from carry-over from feedstuffs. These toxins have been linked to various human health issues, including reduced immunity and liver cancer. The production of these toxins is dependent on several factors, including weather conditions like temperature and precipitation, which in turn may be influenced by climate change.

Scope and approach

This review undertakes a systematic approach to identify scientific studies that assess mycotoxin production in feed and cereals which may be influenced by weather variables or climate change scenarios. It also looks at human health risk assessments carried out in the past 20 years related to mycotoxins detected in animal products and the degree to which climate change influences are captured in these risk assessments.

Key findings and conclusions

This review presents a state of the art with regards to risk assessment and modelling approaches to managing mycotoxin contamination in the light of climate change influences. There are very limited human health risk assessments looking at mycotoxin contamination of animal products under climate change influences, whereas a few predictive crop-toxin models considered future climate change scenarios. Predictive crop-toxin models can be used in conjunction with health risk assessments to evaluate mycotoxin risk in animal products under future climate change scenarios. The review identifies scientific gaps including the need for better integration of mycotoxin predictive models, risk assessment and climate change variables to better understand potential climate change influences on food safety.

Authors: Rhea SanjivChhay, JohnO’Brien, EndaCummins
Keywords: Risk assessment, Mycotoxins, Climate change, Food safety, Animal products

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