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QUESTION: I've begun to incorporate many of your recommendations and have begun to see marked differences in my health. Thank you. My question is, if types A's are supposed to eat peanuts, where does this put the issue of aflatoxin?
ANSWER: Recently, a well-known figure in alternative medicine, Dr. Andrew Weil, made several statements which cast doubt upon the safety of commercially available peanuts. As an answer to the question "Does peanut butter cause cancer?" the authority answered that 'it's relatively common for aflatoxin to cause a type of poisoning called aflatoxicosis."
This assertion is questionable at best. There are no reported incidences of aflatoxicosis in the United States contained in MEDLINE, the medical database, and only a few isolated instances in Third World countries (Uganda 1971, India 1975 and Malaysia 1991) where methods of storage and identification are suspect. Indeed, in even these reported 'outbreaks' none were associated with peanut consumption! In Uganda and India the cause was contaminated corn, and in Malaysia a type of noodle.
This does not sound 'relatively common' to me, nor does it directly implicate peanuts as a dangerous source of aflatoxin any more than corn or walnuts.
In the United States, the FDA regulates aflatoxin, and it because it can be avoided or minimized with proper agricultural and manufacturing practices. Aflatoxins are highly controlled in food products for consumption and the concern for safety has been reduced drastically. FDA's efforts to ensure the safety and quality of foods and feeds are complemented by control programs carried out by USDA, state departments of agriculture, and various industrial trade associations.