During the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) annual meeting, attended by 170 countries, the European Union and 30 international governmental and non-governmental organizations, the CAC advised that they had reduced the maximum standard for lead in infant formula and had set a maximum standard for arsenic in rice.
The CAC previously established a maximum lead standard in infant formula as listed in the Codex General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Food and Feed Codex Stan 193-1995 of 0.02 mg/kg. During the 2014 annual meeting this maximum standard was adapted to 0.01 mg/kg. This is being done because there is scientific evidence that infants and children are more vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead, particularly affecting the development of the brain and nervous system which can diminish their ability to learn. Lead is found in the environment naturally and as a contaminant from industrial processes. Lead levels in products can be controlled by utilizing raw materials from areas where less lead is present.