Although most people worry about man-made chemicals, far more serious are four important fungal toxins or mycotoxins. These compounds were discovered because they affected humans or domestic animals, not theoretical lab studies. Somewhere in North America every year, a variable percentage of corn or wheat cannot be used for human food or feed. In the US and Canada, more analysis is done on food for the toxins that fungi make than the sum of all other analyses for contaminants put together. Managing and regulating mycotoxins costs an enormous amount of money each year and in some years the losses to farmers can be staggering. Because of abundance this never affects consumers. We throw away the contaminated corn and wheat. In most of the developing world, the situation is not so happy.

In a Science Café, hosted online on June 17, 2020, Chemistry Prof. David Miller introduced this topic that has plagued humankind since Biblical times, outlining how it affects Ontario and parts of the developing world.

Explore science through Carleton University’s popular Science Cafés, now being held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We hope to resume our in-person Science Cafés in the future, generally held twice a month during the fall and winter terms at the Sunnyside Branch of the Ottawa Public Library. For now, you are invited to join us online throughout the summer for a lively discussion around a scientific issue of the day. Be prepared to be informed, engaged and even amused, as our professors share their scientific discoveries with you. All are welcome to join us via Zoom Webinar.

Visit the Science Café website for more information on upcoming online Science Cafés and to sign up for our newsletter, or contact the Faculty of Science by email at and by telephone at 613-520-4388.

Thursday, June 18, 2020 in ,
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