The Codex Alimentarius Commission held its 37th session in Geneva from the 14th to the 18th July and adopted a number of new international standards, including maximum levels for inorganic arsenic in rice and lead in infant formula.
The Commission – originally set up by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Health Organisation to agree harmonised standards for food production with the aim of protecting consumers and facilitating international trade – meets annually to discuss proposals and seek agreement on new standards.
The 37th session agreed that the maximum level for inorganic arsenic in polished rice should be 0.2 mg/kg, while infant formula as consumed should contain no more than 0.01 mg/kg of lead. Maximum levels for fumonisins in maize and maize products were also agreed and the Commission recommended that certain veterinary drugs, including some antimicrobials and growth promoters, should not be used in food producing animals. A new code of hygienic practice for spices and dried herbs was also adopted.
More information about the decisions taken at the meeting can be found on the Commission web site here.