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Balkan States to Step Up Food Control on Aflatoxin Scare

March 5 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia agreed to increase quality control of cattle feed and milk to try to reduce levels of aflatoxin appearing in food products from fungus-infected corn.

Croatia, set to join the European Union in July, offered its European Union-approved facilities for testing samples, as the region deals with the consequences of 2012 drought that caused fungal contamination in corn, Serbia’s government said in an e-mailed statement after agriculture ministers met in Belgrade today. The fungi produce the carcinogenic aflatoxin.

“The situation is serious, but it’s under control,” Serbian Agriculture Minister Goran Knezevic was quoted in the statement as saying.

Serbia raised the permitted level of aflatoxin in milk 10-fold to 0.5 micrograms per liter last week, amid controversy over food safety regulations. The cap will be restored at 0.05 micrograms again in two weeks, Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at msavic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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