ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- Dec. 20, 2006

Here is the latest American Chemical Society (ACS) News Service Weekly press package (PressPac) with reports selected from 35 major peer-reviewed journals and Chemical & Engineering News.

In This Edition:

  • High aflatoxin levels in wild bird feed

  • Toward pinpointing the location of bacterial infections

  • New sensor simplifies efforts to safeguard drinking water from cyanide

  • Easing concerns about the toxicity of diamond nanoparticles

  • Headaches form over a possible new form of aspirin

  • Journalists' Resources:

  • ACS Evergreens -- Holiday Story Ideas and Podcasts

  • Mark Your Calendars: Chemistry's expanding role in cancer research


High aflatoxin levels in wild bird feed
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Wild birdseed contained higher levels of aflatoxins and other mycotoxins than any other kind of pet food analyzed in studies done around the world, a new review of those studies reports in an article scheduled for the Dec. 27 issue of ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Trevor K. Smith and colleagues at the University of Guelph in Ontario point out that 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 (FDA) and its counterpart in Canada have a legal 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

Contact: Michael Woods
American Chemical Society

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