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It went unnoticed and will be a problem for farmers. From July 1, lowering the maximum permissible level of mycotoxins in cereals

Przeszło bez echa, a będzie problemem dla rolników. Od 1 lipca obniżenie maksymalnego dopuszczalnego poziomu mykotoksyn w zbożach

Not only I was surprised to hear about these regulations, but also the journalists of the German agricultural website Agrarheute, from which we learned about this matter. They also noted that this topic had been largely unnoticed by the public. And it applies not only to consumers, which we are all, but also to farmers. Concerns health and food safety. And what is important, it can make work very difficult and affect the economic aspects of cultivation. We will keep an eye on the topic, and in the meantime, we will tell you what we know about it.

Mycotoxins are a serious problem

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Mycotoxins are a serious problem

Mycotoxins – limits lowered

We would like to remind you that mycotoxins are natural products that are toxic to humans and animals and are formed as a result of the secondary metabolic process of mold fungi during their growth on plant substrates, especially in situations where there is a lot of moisture for the growth of the fungus, e.g. during significant rainfall in during plant vegetation or during storage. While farmers can influence the latter, the former cannot influence the weather. And that's the whole problem. These compounds are created mainly by mold fungi of the genera: Aspergillus, Pennicilium, Fusarium, Alternaria and Claviceps. The most important mycotoxins that occur in cereals and are created in our climatic conditions are: ochratoxin A (OTA), deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEA), T-2/HT-2 toxin.

What results from the new regulations? In 2024, the EU adopted two regulations that were highlighted as aimed at reducing consumer health risks. Among others introduced maximum levels of T-2 and HT-2 toxins of 50 micrograms per kilogram for the first time and reduced the maximum levels of DON toxin in unprocessed cereals from 1,250 to 1,000 micrograms per kilogram, from July. This means that the thresholds already applicable to wheat and other cereals have been lowered. This can be a huge problem for farmers when the harvest is unfavorable, and this happens not only in Poland, but also in other parts of Europe. This year especially in France and Germany.

Upper limits have also been set for cereal products and milling, as well as baked goods and pasta, which will also affect the collection of grain.
What before July 1? The regulations state that products that were lawfully placed on the market before July 1, 2024, may be used within the use-by date before or in accordance with the use-by date.

Russia. State of emergency in the grain region. Important information before harvest

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Russia. State of emergency in the grain region. Important information before harvest

Mycotoxins and grain sales

After finding yesterday's article on a German website, I looked for more about it on the Internet. And I didn't find much data. Maybe I just don't know how to search. Or maybe, as I noticed at the beginning of this text, the topic was not relevant and widely communicated. However, I found a publication that also went unnoticed, in Euractiv, from the end of May this year.

There, the words of French MEP Anne Sander were quoted, who referred to the matter and directly said that lowering the maximum permissible level of mycotoxins in cereals may cost European cereal producers dearly. In my opinion he is right.

Interestingly, Sander, MEP of the European People's Party (EPP), wrote a letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in which she calls for a review of the limits set out in the regulation, which is to enter into force in July, or an exemption for farmers in this respect year. Why this year?

Coceral increases its grain production forecast in the EU

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Coceral increases its grain production forecast in the EU

– I would like to draw your attention to the difficulties currently experienced by many farmers, and more precisely, cereal producers, especially in France, in connection with the regulations regarding the presence of mycotoxins in cereals – wrote Sander, quoted by Euractiv.

Both France and a large part of Germany are struggling with excess moisture this season, which will affect crops and their quality, including the content of mycotoxins in grain. The French are fighting for their own people. And that's good, that's how it should be done, it's a pity that in Poland I either missed it or it wasn't talked about. I will write about the consequences later. Meanwhile, I also present the arguments of the so-called second page.

For example, Dr. Martin Dermine, quoted by Nutrition Insight, executive director of PAN Europe, says that the use of pesticides is associated with the development of mycotoxins. He adds that, contrary to what he believes the pesticide industry lobby constantly claims, the use of fungicides does not prevent the development of mycotoxins.

I grew up with the latter thesis and I believe that introducing such limits for all European farmers, no matter where they farm, will bring many unknowns. Because the weather is an unpredictable factor and despite protection, even the best, it may lead to deterioration of the grain quality. Moreover, by introducing these regulations, the EU, in my opinion, is contradicting itself. On the one hand, it wants to limit the use of plant protection products, and on the other, it supports their application, because farmers who want to reduce the content of mycotoxins can focus more on fungicide protection, and thus may increase the use of pesticides, not to mention the costs (expensive means of production). Additionally, unpredictable weather may ruin these activities. And so the circle closes. And the farmer is left alone again.

There are many questions. Since excessive rainfall and poorer harvest quality may affect France and Germany this season, will this regulation be postponed or changed? How will these regulations affect the reception of agricultural raw materials in Europe and will they also apply to the so-called third countries? We will keep an eye on this. What do you think about this? Please comment below.

Cereal prices are slowly rising, but there are concerns about their quality

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Cereal prices are slowly rising, but there are concerns about their quality

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