Abstract

Nine Collaborative Research Support Programs (CRSPs) were established by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in response to Public Law 94-161, Title XII Legislation: Famine Prevention and Freedom from Hunger Act, which was originally approved in December 1975 and amended and signed by the President in October, 2000 (Public Law 106373). Two of the CRSPs have significant research activities on the impact of mycotoxins on human health and agricultural productivity. Impaired immunity and malnutrition increases both human susceptibility to HIV infection and the vulnerability to its various impacts. My-cotoxins can significantly reduce human health, especially amongst the poor in developing countries and can become significant non-tariff trade barriers. The greatest cost imposed by mycotoxins is on human health. Aflatoxins are synergistic with hepatitis B and are associated with at least 44% of the disease burden in developing countries. The effects of mycotoxins as market barriers are important to production, socioeconomics and utilization. The Peanut CRSP is involved with mycotoxins because of the vulnerability of this crop to aflatoxin contamination. The Sorghum/Millet CRSP is involved in studies of mycotoxins because mycotoxigenic fungi appear to be less important factors on sorghum and millet than they are on maize in Africa. Although human health concerns are the primary focus, the role of mycotoxins in agricultural trade, especially the export of peanuts, also is important.

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