Medical researchers have discovered a possible link between corn mold and birth defects.
An unusual number of babies in southern Texas born with brain and spinal cord defects prompted a study to find the cause. For over ten years, doctors have tried to identify the reason for these defects and have recently discovered the problem may have been caused by a corn-fungus called Fumonisin.
Fumonisin is a toxin which grows on crops such as wheat and maize in certain conditions. In humans, it has been known to cause oesophagical cancer, skin lesions, ulcers, and organ infections. In animal studies, Fumonisin has been known to cause cancer and negatively affect the nervous system.
Fumonisin is a part of the Mycotoxin family which includes hundreds of fungus and toxins that grows on plants. Many of these Mycotoxins are allergenic, are associated with severe human illnesses and are resistant to freezing or cooking conditions.
Aflatoxins, Ochratoxins, and Patulins are also part of the Mycotoxin family and are potential human cancer-causing agents found on fruits, vegetables, cereals, and tree nuts.