Today in Geneva, governments have agreed for new food standards calling for no residue of drugs from veterinarians in meat and limiting lead pollution in formula for infants and poisons in maize.
Codex Alimentarius Commission, which is the top global decision making administration for standards in food made the recommendations at its annual meeting in Geneva according to Angelika Tritscher, the UN’s food safety coordinator.
The Commission is composed of 186 nations and run by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Essentially this Commission impacts us on the food we buy in our stores and what we put in our bodies.
The eight veterinary drugs that the Commission wants to see no trace of is: chloramphenicol, malachite green, carbadox, furazolidone, nitofural, chlorpromazine, stilbenes, and olaquindox, which can be in meat, milk, eggs or honey.
Residues of these drugs can be a real concern for human health.
Although the measure has been passed, the recommendations still need to be put into national law.  The countries involved will have to control this and pull products off shelves that are affected.
The drugs that are targeted include antimicrobials which are blamed for the rise of killer superbugs because of human misuse of antibiotics and poor hospital hygiene.
On infant formula the commission wants to eliminate lead pollution which is a direct result of environmental contamination which can happen during the manufacturing process as an example.
Lead can hinder the brain development of a baby and of course babies are very sensitive, so the Commission wants to do everything possible to limit this exposure.
The previous limit of lead per kilo of formula was 0.02 milligrams, but that has been cut in half to 0.01 milligrams, so now it is up to manufacturers to buy material for infant formulas that is the cleanest possible.
Fumonisins are targeted by the commission because they are placed in maize.  The toxins are produced by mold that can be found before or after harvesting from humidity, poor storage and insect damage.  They can cause liver or kidney damage and even lead to cancer and it is the first time ever that standards have been set for these toxins.
The standard was also cut in half from 4 milligrams per kilo to 2 milligrams per kilo.
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By Bjorn Torling