Letters: 05/00

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Manufacturer Tests Own Rice Bran
In light of the recent article “Mold Warning: Corn, Rice Bran” (March 2000), we at Kentucky Performance Products (KPP), along with our partners at Producers Rice Mill, Inc., elected to take the initiative to have our product, Equi-Jewel Stabilized Rice Bran, tested for this particular toxin (fumonisin) to assure rice bran consumers, contrary to what the article suggests, there is little cause for alarm.

We sent several samples of our product, varying in age, to Dr. Rick Cartwright of the Arkansas State Extension Service-Specialist in Rice Pathology and Dr. Hamed Abbas-USDA-ARS. These two gentlemen were among the original pioneers studying fumonisin in rice and published the first report of fumonisins in naturally contaminated rice in the United States. They provided background on their study in which 20 samples “were obtained from rice fields known to include plants with symptoms of Fusarium sheath rot putatively caused by Fusarium proliferatum.” Their results were that fumonisin can be found in rice but at very low levels compared to corn, as “98% of the samples tested fell below the magic 5 ppm we are concerned about in rice” intended to be used for horses. Keep in mind that these samples were purposely obtained from fields already known to harbor the mold Fusarium proliferatum. Dr. Cartwright and Dr. Abbas went on to say that fumonisin is typically detected in rice hull with little toxin found in milled rice or rice bran, if detected at all.

In their initial tests of Equi-Jewel, the levels of fumonisin were found to be less than 1 ppm, thus scientifically classified as “no fumonisin detected.” These samples have now been sent to the University of Minnesota for GCMS analysis for further chemical confirmation. Additional testing determined aflatoxin to be undetectable as it was found to be less than 5 ppb. We also asked Drs. Abbas and Cartwright about whether having a rice bran labeled as “human-food quality” made any difference in regards to the levels of fumonisin toxin. They stated that consumers are generally safe with any rice and while stabilization and further processing in the bran would reduce the fumonisin content, it is impossible to destroy all traces, so whether it is up to “human consumption standards” or not is irrelevant.

Should anyone like to discuss this issue in greater detail both Dr. Abbas 662/686-5313 and Dr. Cartwright 501/671-2228 have indicated they would be happy to answer questions. I hope this information helps clarify any confusion that may exist regarding fumonisin levels in rice bran.

-David A. Osborne
Kentucky Performance Products, LLC

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Dangers Of Rumor And Gossip
Margaret Freeman’s April editorial on the Internet was beautifully written. We humans seem to want to believe the most outrageous nonsense. Thank you for your no-nonsense publication and for speaking out on the dangers of rumor and gossip.

-Carylee Hammer
Peace And Plenty Farm, Cedarburg, WI

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Bute-Less Plus Corta-Flx
Can I administer Bute-Less and Corta-Flx simultaneously when pain is obvious (see May 1999, January 2000)' Also, do I give Bute-Less daily or just when needed for pain' The label directions are not clear.

-Tawna Born
Agua Duice, CA

You can give Bute-Less (or another herbal anti-inflammatory/analgesic) and Corta-Flx (or other joint nutraceutical) together. We suggest Corta-Flx alone first to relieve any active arthritis pain. With chronic arthritis, Bute-Less may also help.