The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has decided to detain corn shipments from India after the agency found high levels of aflatoxin, a toxic element linked to various diseases, in the poultry feed.
"This is to prevent contamination of livestock feed in order to protect Canadian livestock and public health. This action is being taken as high levels of aflatoxin have been detected in organic feed corn originating from India," the CFIA said in a notice.
The notice dated May 26 stated: "Effective immediately, CFIA will be detaining all incoming shipments of corn imported from India, including organic corn, intended for use as livestock feed until it has been tested for aflatoxins."
It also added that importers must sample the imported corn, including organic corn, upon arrival in Canada and provide test results to CFIA.
"The sampling must be done immediately after arrival at the Canadian destination because mould can grow and produce aflatoxins during shipping. Sampling and analysis conducted prior to shipping will not be accepted," the notice clarified.
The import of corn or other feed ingredients containing levels of aflatoxin in excess of 20 parts per billion (ppb) or deemed to be musty, mouldy or damaged from heat or any other cause would render the feed unfit or unsafe for feeding, it added.
Shipments will only be released once an original laboratory result demonstrates that the shipment meets the acceptable aflatoxin levels, not exceeding 20 parts per billion.
India exports corn in the range of 2.5-3 million tonnes annually.