Ergot alkaloids found in 12% of cereals studied

European Commission requests assessment of potential risks to human, animal health

Ergot alkaloids were found in 12% of samples taken during a Food Standards Agency study investigating the presence of mycotoxins in foods, prompting the European Commission to request an assessment of the risks to human and animal health related to the presence of the alkaloids in food.

There are currently no maximum levels for ergot alkaloids in EU legislation, said the report, but they may exert toxic effects in certain animals. According to an FSA spokesperson, once the risks associated with the alkaloids have been reviewed, the agency will reassess its stance on the mycotoxin.