HAMPERS, Ohio — The National AgroSciences Institute is warning farmers to be extra cautious about harroding sorghums, because some varieties of harroded sorghUM may contain contaminants that could cause gastrointestinal disorders or even death.
The institute said on Wednesday that it had reviewed the safety and nutritional content of sorghump pellets and found them to be at “high risk of contamination” in a report that is expected to be released later this month.
Sorghum is one of the world’s most widely consumed crops.
It has been grown worldwide, but is mainly grown in China, India and Nepal, where some people are allergic to it.
It is grown for its fibrous pulp and is also used to make fodder, which is the raw material for meat, fish and poultry.
While the USDA does not specifically list sorghamp pellets as a food source, the agency said its Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is looking into a food safety complaint filed by the USDA in 2016 that alleged sorghamps from Ohio contained a contaminant that could result in the development of severe gastrointestinal disorders.
The FSIS, in an advisory, said it is also investigating a separate complaint from another USDA agency, the Food Safety Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, alleging the same contaminant may have been present in sorghumps that had been sold in Oregon and California.
The USDA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In an email, a USDA spokesperson said that while it is looking at the safety of sorghan pellets, it has not received a complaint from any federal agency.