How was aflatoxin discovered?

In 1960, more than 100,000 turkeys in England died from a mysterious illness callled Turkey X Disease. Ducklings and pheasants also were affected with the same symptoms. The source of the problem was traced to feed, mainly contaminated peanut meal.

In 1961, a common soil fungus – Aspergillus flavus – was found to be the cause. Ultimately, it was found that the fungus produced a toxin that was termed aflatoxin (Aspergillus flavus toxin).