UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL
Canadian chemists say they`ve found some wild birdseed contains higher levels of aflatoxins and other mycotoxins than any other kind of pet food.
Trevor Smith and colleagues at the University of Guelph note mycotoxins are harmful compounds produced by fungi that can grow in cereal grains and nuts used in many pet foods. The compounds are carcinogenic and have other ill effects when consumed at sufficient doses.
The U. S. Food and Drug Administration and its counterpart in Canada have set a limit of 20 micrograms per kilogram for aflatoxin in pet food.
'Wild bird feed was found to be the most contaminated among different types of pet foods in several surveys, possibly due to the use of corn, nuts, and seeds as significant ingredients,' the researchers said.
'Up to one-fourth of the wild bird feed samples were contaminated with more than 100 micrograms of aflatoxin. This presents a potential health threat to the birds.'
The study appears in the Dec. 27 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.