Emerging health threat and cost of Fusarium mycotoxins in European wheat

Louise E. Johns, Daniel P. Bebber, Sarah J. Gurr, Neil A. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (SciVal)


Mycotoxins harm human and livestock health, while damaging economies. Here we reveal the changing threat of Fusarium head blight (FHB) mycotoxins in European wheat, using data from the European Food Safety Agency and agribusiness (BIOMIN, World Mycotoxin Survey) for ten years (2010–2019). We show persistent, high, single- and multi-mycotoxin contamination alongside changing temporal-geographical distributions, indicative of altering FHB disease pressure and pathogen populations, highlighting the potential synergistic negative health consequences and economic cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014-1019
Number of pages6
JournalNature Food
Issue number12
Early online date15 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank BIOMIN, the EFSA and Fera Science Limited (United Kingdom) for providing data. L.J. was funded by a University of Bath University Research Studentship Award and supported by a British Society for Plant Pathology Covid-19 PhD student support grant. D.B. was funded by Global Food Security grant no. BB/N020847/1. S.G. is a Canadian Institute for Advanced Research fellow in ‘The Fungal Kingdom: Threats and Opportunities’. N.B. was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Future Leader Fellowship BB/N011686/1, an internal University of Bath grant, and a Royal Society grant RGS\R2\202128.

Data availability
Extended data are available for this paper. Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to N. Brown. All data are included in this article and its Supplementary Information files. Food raw data are publicly available on request from the EFSA in accordance with Regulation (EC) 1049/2001 regarding public access to documents. Feed raw data provided by BIOMIN are not publicly available due to them containing information that may be of commercial interest and therefore are subject to a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement. DEFRA winter wheat survey data were provided by J. Turner, Fera Science Limited, and are available on request as data supporting their paper https://doi.org/10.1111/ppa.13433. Summary data derived from these raw data are available in the Source data.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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