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Reports of cancer-causing toxin in milk triggers health scare in the Balkans

Reports that milk in the Balkans has been contaminated by a cancer-causing toxin have triggered a major health scare throughout the region, with authorities appealing for calm before official tests are conclusive.

Senior agriculture official Goran Jesic claims on his website that out of 35 tested milk samples in Serbia, 29 had higher levels of aflatoxin than allowed. A low dose of the toxin, linked to mildewed cattle feed, is not considered harmful, but high doses are linked to cancer, especially of the liver.

Bosnian veterinary officials said Tuesday that concentrations of aflatoxin above the limit had been found in imported milk from Hungary, Slovenia and Germany and that a shipment from Serbia is also suspected. Recently, Bosnia's border controls have found the toxin in milk imported from Croatia.