The (100) Million Dollar Question
If you had $100 million to solve a pressing world problem, what would you do? That’s the question the MacArthur Foundation’s 100 & Change initiative asked during its recent open call for proposals. ASI’s answer is simple: rid the world of aflatoxin.
Aflatoxin is an odorless, invisible poison that is produced by certain molds in soil and agricultural products. One of the most carcinogenic substances known to man, aflatoxin also leads to malnutrition. It suppresses the immune system, making people, especially children, more susceptible to disease.
Aflatoxin affects animals, contaminating milk, meat/fish, and eggs. One of the main reasons why aflatoxin cannot be easily defeated is that once food is infected with aflatoxin, it cannot be treated or removed--it must be destroyed.
ASI’s solution, Aflatoxin-Free Food (AFF), combines existing technologies to produce a replicable, holistic response with the goal of eradicating aflatoxin contamination in Kenya, Uganda and Malawi. If successful, AFF will increase food safety and security, improve health outcomes, reduce malnutrition, and boost economic growth.
With the help of partner organizations, AFF will combine individual approaches to ensure a comprehensive response to aflatoxin:
“There is no ‘easy’ solution to eradicating aflatoxin,” says Ana Bilik, ASI president. “We can’t replace an entire region’s food supply, nor can we incinerate its staple food crop. We can, however, work to mobilize a team of like-minded organizations to ensure an aflatoxin-free food supply for children. What will it take to eradicate aflatoxin? -- $100 million!”
Learn more about AFF’s Consortium of Partners