Fumonisins are mycotoxins, which are harmful secondary compounds that specific molds and fungi produce in soils, grains, and forages when moisture levels permit. This mycotoxin variety is produced by Fusarium verticillioides, F. proliferatum, and other Fusarium fungal species. Animal and human health problems related to fumonisins are most commonly associated with the consumption of contaminated maize (corn) or products made from maize.

Horses have a longer life span than many other livestock, some living 30 years old or more, so their exposure to toxins can be long-term. Horses used for competitions are often high-value animals and economic losses from poor performance, health problems, and even loss of use due to mycotoxins can be significant.

Fumonisin Levels Guided by the FDA

Consumption of moldy maize has long been recognized as a cause of equine leukoencephalomalacia (ELEM, often referred to as moldy corn poisoning). Fumonisins B1 (FB1) have been shown to be cardiotoxic (they damage the heart muscle) and cause pulmonary edema in pigs. Cattle and poultry are considerably less sensitive to fumonisins than horses and some other species, including pigs, rabbits, and laboratory rodents. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Nutrition has issued guidance levels for fumonisins in maize and maize byproducts used in animal feeds. The levels vary by animal species, reflecting their relative sensitivities to fumonisins:

FDA guidance levels for total fumonisins (FB1+FB2 +FB3) in animal feed1

console.log('scenario 2');

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com. Start your free account today!

Sign UpAlready have an account?
Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com.

Learn More ›


Dead space


300×250 AD

Weekly Poll:

sponsored by:

Which allergy-related issue do you battle most frequently with your horse?
122 votes · 122 answers
View all polls

300×600 AD 2

Featured Horse Listing

TEEA:  Red Dun Mustang Mare – Ready for Training/Project

TEEA: Red Dun Mustang Mare – Ready for Training/Project

If you are interested in adopting this horse, please submit an ‘Adoption Inquiry’ via our website: Allaboutequine dot org. No…
Total views: 4439
El Dorado Hills, CA
See All Listings

300×250 AdSense