Discussion

Mycotoxin contamination of foods and feeds is a world-wide problem. Populations in the less-developed parts of the world have a higher risk of mycotoxin exposure than do those living in developed countries, e.g., the European Union or the United States, with high food safety standards. Some recommendations for effective action to prevent and control myco-toxin contamination include:

• Improved knowledge of the occurrence of mycotoxins and preventive measures (pre-harvest, drying, storage, processing, packaging, and transportation) that help control them.

• Mycotoxin prevention requires national/regional/international approaches and multi-disciplinary efforts. Multinational efforts including all parties (producer, processor, trader, and retailer) are required.

• In the same way, adoption of the European Union standards in the region is an urgent necessity. Appropriate sampling procedures, reliable analytical techniques and reasonable regulations could eliminate many trade problems. More trade will contribute to the development of the regional economy by utilizing high quality agricultural resources for export purposes and for protecting public health.

• Education and training of technical staff involved in the food chain is always a necessity. Producers, processors, and traders should participate in training programs to implement mycotoxin-free production systems.

• Scientific studies of the development/improvement of alternative drying techniques (solar or mechanical) should be conducted and the results applied in the food system.

• GAP, GHP, GMP, GSP and more systematically HACCP procedures should be implemented systematically to manage mycotoxins.

• Cooperative efforts by all stakeholders (national, regional, international) including scientific, economic and regulatory bodies are needed to prevent and control mycotox-

in contamination. Sharing knowledge, assistance and advice on mycotoxin prevention helps all countries produce safe agricultural products, increase health standards and reduce the level of contaminated crops. The MycoGlobe project is a good example of this kind of collaboration and cooperation.

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