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Kenya bans importation of maize from Tanzania, Uganda

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Kenya has with immediate effect banned the importation of maize from Tanzania and Uganda citing safety concerns.

The letter dated March 5 was written by the acting Director-General of the Agriculture and Food Authority Kello Harsama to Pamela Ahago, KRA Commissioner of Customs and copied to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.

The letter stated that the imports should stop after a study revealed that maize from the two countries contained high levels of mycotoxins.

It further said Mycotoxins, particularly aflatoxins and fumonisins are known to be carcinogenic.

Harsana said that over the years, a number of acute and chronic aflatoxin-related illness cases have been recorded in Kenya including deaths.

Mycotoxins are naturally occurring toxins produced by certain moulds (fungi) and can be found in food.

The moulds grow on a variety of different crops and foodstuffs including cereals often under warm and humid.