The Codex Alimentarius has announced new food safety and nutrition standards that strive to “protect the health of consumers worldwide.” The regulations include guidance on preventing and reducing ochratoxin A—a reportedly carcinogenic contaminant—in cocoa, avoiding microbiological contamination of berries, preventing hydrocyanic acid in cassava, and when to label food with ”non-addition of sodium salts.”

The commission also seeks to protect consumers against fraud and ensure fair food trade practices for products such as avocados, chanterelles, pomegranates, olives, and fish products. “The standards help buyers and sellers establish contracts based on Codex specifications and make sure that the consumers get from the products what they expect,” explained a news release. The recommendations also include nutrient references for sodium and saturated fat, as well as maximum pesticide residue limits for certain food additives.

Meanwhile, Codex celebrated its 50th anniversary at its annual meeting, held in Rome, July 2, 2013. The session was attended by 620 delegates from 128 member countries and one member organization, one observer country and 41 international governmental and nongovernmental organizations, including UN agencies. See WHO News Releases, June 28, July 2 and 8, 2013.