The 173 country membership of world food standards body Codex Alimentarius is now considering how to implement new approved regulations mandated by the organisation’s ruling commission.

National representatives passed a series of draft standards that have been publicised in, notably setting maximum allowable amounts for contaminants. These include maximum limits for lead in fish; cadmium in rice, marine bivalve molluscs and cephalopods (such as squid); and codes of practice for reducing aflatoxin contamination in Brazil nuts and dioxin and dioxin-like PCB contamination in food and feed. Members also approved international standards for several milk-based products and for instant noodles.

A World Health Organisation note said: “The new standards adopted will go a long way towards protecting human health.”

The Codex commission has also created a task force investigating antimicrobial resistance in meat, fish and dairy products, which is charged with developing risk assessment policies and strategies on using antimicrobials in animal production, including aquaculture.