Representatives of more than 170 countries, the European Union and governmental and non-governmental organizations convened in Geneva, Switzerland, on July 14-18, 2014, for the annual meeting of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Delegates reportedly adopted a recommendation that no more than 0.01 mg/kg of lead be allowed in infant formula and that raw materials be sourced from geographical areas where lead is less prevalent, citing the particular vulnerability of infants and young children to developmental health effects from lead exposure. Codex also set a maximum allowable level for arsenic in rice of 0.2 mg/kg because long-term exposure to the naturally occurring chemical has been linked to the development of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Other decisions made during the annual meeting related to restricting the use of eight veterinary drugs (chloramphenicol, malachite green, carbadox, furazolidone, nitrofural, chlorpromazine, stilbenes and olaquinadox) in food-producing animals to prevent any residual quantities in meat, milk, eggs, and honey; quality and safety standards for scallops, passion fruit, okra, and durian; maximum allowable levels of fumonisins in corn; maximum use levels for additives in food; maximum residue levels for pesticides in food and feed; and a code of hygienic practice for spices and dried aromatic herbs. See FAO News Release, July 17, 2014.