Recall that Nigeria is still under ban by the EU for unacceptable levels of a pesticide–dichlorvos on her beans

Now, the African Centre for Biodiversity (formerly African Centre for Biosafety) has come out to frown at the continued use of what it called ‘questionable’ data  on pesticides  by African countries.  The South Africa based centre published a report titled  ‘No Safe Limits for Toxic Pesticides in our foods’ in July 2017. The Maximum Residue Limits now seems suspect

No established safe levels
for toxic pesticides
The safe levels for pesticides that are
determined by regulators have been widely
scrutinised for being outdated, inadequate
and heavily influenced by industry, which has
even participated in the regulatory approvals
of glyphosate for the EU, making the integrity
of the entire process questionable. Some
of the concerns surrounding the approval
process and the acceptable daily intake (ADI)
doses include:
Tests rely on industry studies alone,
which remain unpublished and kept as
confidential commercial secrets. This
means that data cannot be independently
scrutinised and comes with clear conflict
of interest.
Only the active ingredient is tested,
despite the fact that certain adjuvants
added to commercial formulations are
toxic and has also been shown to increase
toxicity of the active ingredient itself
(Mesnage et al., 2014).
Most regulatory tests are more than
20 years old for glyphosate, 2,4-D and
glufosinate and therefore have not taken
into account recent independent data
showing toxicity.
No tests are done on low doses that are
below the ADI.
Combinatorial effects of multiple
pesticides are not tested.
The ADI differs in various regions, from the
EU to China, the United States and South
Africa, questioning a scientific consensus on safety
For full report  please visit==
Sept 2017



Sunflower seeds are frequently contaminated with aflatoxins. This has been shown by researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) in the US.

Aflatoxins, toxins produced by Aspergillus moulds commonly infect corn, peanuts, pistachios and almonds. The US study (done in Tanzania) is one of the first studies to associate aflatoxin contamination with sunflower seeds. Samples of sunflower seeds (n = 90) and cakes (n = 92) were collected across 2 years, and analysed for total aflatoxin concentrations using a direct competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

For seed samples collected June-August 2014, the highest aflatoxin concentrations were from Dodoma (1.7–280.6 ng/g), Singida (1.4–261.8 ng/g), and Babati-Manyara (1.8–162.0 ng/g). The highest concentrations for cakes were from Mbeya (2.8–97.7 ng/g), Dodoma (1.9–88.2 ng/g), and Singida (2.0–34.3 ng/g). For seed samples collected August-October 2015, the highest concentrations were from Morogoro (2.8–662.7 ng/g), Singida (1.6–217.6 ng/g) and Mbeya (1.4–174.2 ng/g). The highest concentrations for cakes were from Morogoro (2.7–536.0 ng/g), Dodoma (1.4–598.4 ng/g) and Singida (3.2–52.8 ng/g).

Juma Mmongoyo, a former MSU food science doctoral student and lead author of the study, analysed aflatoxin levels of seeds and cakes in 7 regions of Tanzania in 2014 and 2015. Nearly 60% of seed samples and 80% of cake samples were contaminated with aflatoxins. “These high aflatoxin levels, in a commodity frequently consumed by the Tanzanian population, indicate that local authorities must implement interventions to prevent and control aflatoxin contamination along the sunflower commodity value chain, to enhance food and feed safety in Tanzania,” said Gale Strasburg, MSU food science and human nutrition professor and one of the study’s co-authors.

Smallholder farmers in Tanzania grow sunflowers for the seeds, which are then sold to local millers who press the seeds for oil and sell it to local consumers for cooking. The remaining cakes are used as animal feed.

The study has been published in PLOS ONE.

Source: ScienceDaily

Sept 2017


The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a positive Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of a mycotoxin biotransforming enzyme from Biomin for the application in poultry feed.

EFSA acknowledged the efficacy of the enzyme (FUMzyme®) in safely degrading fumonisins to non-toxic compounds in the gastrointestinal tract of poultry, as demonstrated in numerous feeding trials, stating that the product has the capacity to degrade fumonisins in feed, at concentrations below the Guidance limits operating in the EU in chickens and turkeys for fattening and laying hens at the minimum recommended dose of 15 U/kg complete feed.

Protecting flocks

Recent Biomin Mycotoxin Survey results of 3065 samples taken in the first half of 2016 indicate that fumonisins were detected in 80% of maize, 27% of wheat, 66% of finished feed and 40% of soybean meal samples. “We know that fumonisins impair the health and performance of poultry,” explains Ursula Hofstetter, Director Competence Center Mycotoxins at Biomin. Recent research revealed that the ingestion of fumonisins at levels below the EU recommended value (20 parts per million) can affect the expression of proteins related to pro- and anti-inflammatory responses in the intestinal tract of broilers. Levels of 20 ppm of fumonisins induce a higher excretion of Eimeria, the parasites responsible for coccidiosis. “In large-scale farms, this may promote parasite transmission between birds due to the high density of the animals,” she explained.


The enzyme was originally isolated from the fumonisin degrading soil bacterium Sphingopyxis sp. MTA 144 and identified as fumonisin esterase by the Biomin Research Center. The purified-enzyme biotransforms fumonisins specifically and irreversibly into non-toxic metabolites. “Biotransformation is the most cutting-edge strategy to detoxify mycotoxins,” said Ms Hofstetter. Biotransformation works by transforming non-adsorbable mycotoxins into harmless substances without any side effects for livestock. “It’s the future of mycotoxin risk management,” she added.


Demonstrating the effectiveness of the enzyme involved evidence using the serum sphinganine/sphingosine ratio, a key biomarker that indicates fumonisin exposure in animals. “This ratio was significantly reduced by the addition of the enzyme at the minimum proposed dose when added to diets contaminated with fumonisins,” according to the EFSA opinion.


Sept 2017


Technology Development Representative-Nigeria
MONSANTO 1,157 reviewsAbuja
Monsanto’s Technology Development and Agronomy Team in sub-Saharan Africa is hiring for a Technology Development Representative to be part of a team that lead the development and testing of agronomic system concepts for our products. This role will gain firsthand knowledge of Monsanto’s products and associated agronomic systems research to provide technical leadership and conduct field research within Nigeria. This includes, understanding local and regional cropping systems and the development of existing and newer pipeline products. Successful candidates must have strong communication and people skills to enable cross-functional interactions with R&D and commercial teams.

Key Responsibilities: Coordinate and execute systems field testing program that supports maize and/or cotton germplasm and trait evaluations across different agroecological zones. Responsible for all aspects of coordination and execution of field trials in alignment with commercial team; trial seed forecasting, location identification, cooperator contracts, trial design, planting, in-season trial maintenance, data recording, harvesting and relinquish data. Active contribution and advancement team’s work, proposals for variety advancements. Maintain country regulatory compliance, ensure trials are conducted within regulatory and stewardship policy and paperwork is accurately completed in a timely manner.

Develop and maintain relationships with Technology Development colleagues to help steward current products and introduce new products. Regularly integrate emerging technology tools to improve work efficiency and execution of assigned responsibilities. Provide technical leadership for local sales organization through agronomic trainings, product and technology scientific knowledge transfer and stewardship initiatives. Technical contribution in demand generating activities like customer visits, demonstration plots, farmer field days and events, marketing tools, etc.

Investigation of product performance inquiries that require specific agronomic and product knowledge. Maintain and build relationship with researchers from academic and research institutions. Ensures equipment is properly maintained, operating and ready for use. Actively participate in the site safety program.



Source= 24 Sept 2017

Aflatoxin in Nigeria=Commodities Certification Points coming

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture has been reported to have the intention of setting up Commodities Certification Centres in each of the 6 geopolitical zones of the country.

This is response to incessant complaints on the unacceptable levels of aflatoxin and pesticides in export agricultural commodities. For some years now The European Union has been frowning at unfair trade coming from Nigeria due to these contaminants. With the putting in place of these standard certification laboratories, it is hoped that compliance with global standards will be attained.

Melon, beans, and a few others have been implicated as notorious candidates for high levels of contaminants from Nigeria to the EU Nigeria


WHO Publishes List of Bacteria That Need New Antibiotics

WHO priority pathogens list for R&D of new antibiotics

Priority 1: CRITICAL

  • Acinetobacter baumannii, carbapenem-resistant
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa, carbapenem-resistant
  • Enterobacteriaceae, carbapenem-resistant, ESBL-producing

Priority 2: HIGH

  • Enterococcus faecium, vancomycin-resistant
  • Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant, vancomycin-intermediate and resistant
  • Helicobacter pylori, clarithromycin-resistant
  • Campylobacter spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant
  • Salmonellae, fluoroquinolone-resistant
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae, cephalosporin-resistant, fluoroquinolone-resistant

Priority 3: MEDIUM

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae, penicillin-non-susceptible
  • Haemophilus influenzae, ampicillin-resistant
  • Shigella spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published its first ever list of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health and which urgently need new types of antibiotics. These bacteria are resistant to some last-resort antibiotics.

Petri Dish

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibiotic-resistant bacteria kill 23,000 Americans every year. And antibiotic resistant bacteria are present in every country on earth.

The list highlights gram-negative bacteria that are resistant to multiple antibiotics. These pathogens are constantly evolving to resist new drugs, and they can pass genetic material to other bacteria so they can become drug resistant too.

Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation said in a statement, “This list is a new tool to ensure R&D responds to urgent public health needs. Antibiotic resistance is growing, and we are fast running out of treatment options. If we leave it to market forces alone, the new antibiotics we most urgently need are not going to be developed in time.”

The list is divided into three categories according to the urgency of need to new drugs: Critical, high, and medium priority. The most critical group includes Enterobacteriaceae, which includes Klebsiella and E. coli. Those pathogens can cause severe and often deadly bloodstream infections. Those bacteria have developed resistance to third generation cephalosporins and carbapenems, which are the best available antibiotics for treating multi-drug resistant bacteria.

The second category tier includes Staphylococcus aureus, Helicobacter pylori, fluoroquinolone-resistant Campylobacter, and fluoroquinolone-resistant Salmonella. The third tier includes fluoroquinolone-resistant Shigella bacteria. All of those bacteria are familiar to those in the food safety industry.

WHO hopes that this list will spur governments to advance policies that incentive basic science and advanced R&D by publicly funded agencies such as the FDA and CDC, and by the private sector. Professor Evalina Tacconelli, head of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Tübingen said, “new antibiotics targeting this priority list of pathogens will help to reduce deaths due to resistant infections around the world. Waiting any longer will cause further public health problems and dramatically impact patient care.”

WHO ended its news release by stating that while more research and development is vital, it can’t solve the problem alone. We must prevent infections by these pathogenic bacteria, and use antibiotics in both humans and animals appropriately. And when new antibiotics are developed, they must be used rationally and not overprescribed



Dutch designers use human waste to make electricity

By Bongani Shwen


The Compost Kliko Toilet could lead to people getting away from flushing potential down the toilet…

etabolism and cut crop productivity, ultimately putting pressure on arable land…

26 Jun 2017

Dutch designers use human waste to make electricity

For more, visit


FAO distributes seeds and fertilisers to a million people in north-east Nigeria

“Investing in agricultural assistance today will provide food for tomorrow; and can ensure people have a source of food even when they are cut off from other forms of humanitarian aid.”

For more

please visit


Nigeria Mycotoxin Conference holds in November

The Mycotoxin Conference in Nigeria will hold in November, 2017. A reliable source revealed that it will be hosted by the Federal Industrial Research Institute Oshodi FIIRO, Lagos.

Meanwhile the LOC is working on the success, while the  theme for the conference  will soon be released.

Recall that the last conference was held at Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger state where a new EXCo was elected


More information shortly