Global perspective Human stories

UN commission on global food standards to hold annual meeting

UN commission on global food standards to hold annual meeting

Standards for powdered milk formula, toxins in cereals, the use of flavourings, listings of ingredients, gluten-free foods, frozen food and shellfish are all on the agenda for the annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on international food standards, which begins on Monday.

The body, known officially as the Codex Alimentarius Commission, was established in 1963 by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN World Health Organization (WHO) to set food standards to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade.

In a statement released today, the Commission said that one of the 30 texts to be adopted this year, the “Code of Hygienic Practice for Powdered Formulae for Infants and Young Children,” aims at protecting infants and small children who for any reason cannot be breastfed. The code sets maximum limits for bacteria in formula and guidance on how to produce, distribute and prepare powdered formula.

The Commission said that its standards, “when introduced in national legislation, contribute to the safety of our foods.”