Sanitary security of foodstuffs
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Sanitary quality of maize (corn) & Mycotoxins

Keys for understanding

Sanitary legislation relating to Fusarium toxins

Mycotoxins have very varied effects: they may be toxic for one species and not very harmful or harmless for other species. The risk therefore differs widely from species to species.

Legislation relating to mycotoxins is complex as it reflects these differences from species to species (in particular between animals and human beings). In addition, there is specific legislation relating to each stage of the food chain.

Legislation is tending to become more stringent in order to maintain food safety for consumers.


Legislation relating to maize (corn) intended for human food use

Approximate figures, subject to changes in legislation. Source: FNA - Arvalis Institut du végétal

EC regulations 856/2005
Maize (Corn)

DON (déoxynivalénol): 1 750 ppb (01/07/07)

ZEA (zéaralénone) : 200 ppb (01/07/07)

Fumonisines B1/B2 : 2 000 ppb (01/10/07)

T2/HT2 : toxins currently under evaluation

Levels measured on non-processed, non-transformed maize (corn) when marketed. Application of previous levels if no other level has been fixed.


Recommendations for maize (corn) intended for animal feed


Draft recommendation
Guidance values for grain maize (corn) and by-products
Source : European commission, DG SANCO: SANCO-1993-2005-revised CPCASA 18-19 juillet 05

The guidance values in the above document are still under discussion by the European Commission. They will appear on this site after they have been officially published.


Liability of operators

If maximum regulatory limits are exceeded, the operator who marketed the contaminated foodstuffs is liable. The foodstuffs must be withdrawn from sale and purchasers and public authorities must be informed.


© Maïsadour Semences 2021 | Doc. designed August 10, 2006 - updated 15 mars, 2007 | Mentions légales |



The European Commission is implementing legislation stipulating the "upper threshold" for mycotoxins in foodstuffs in order to protect consumers and animals.

In the absence of any existing legislation, the European Union may make recommendations as a preventive measure; it is encouraging Member States to carry out research and recommend a maximum level, which is known as a "guidance value".

In the absence of any European legislation or recommendations, official organisations (such as the AFSSA in France) may express opinions, which are equivalent to recommendations within their country.


1 ppb =1 µg/kg = 0,001 ppm

1 ppm = 1000 ppb