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European Commission Reviews Maximum Levels of Cadmium in Food

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2014-05-14  Views: 10
Core Tip: New measures to reduce European consumers' maximum levels of exposure to cadmium in chocolate and infant formula were today adopted by the European Commission.
New measures to reduce European consumers' maximum levels of exposure to cadmium in chocolate and infant formula were today adopted by the European Commission. This measure follows a European Food Safety Authority opinion which concluded that the current exposure at population level should be reduced.

Cadmium is a heavy metal found both through natural occurrence and from industrial and agricultural sources. Food is the main source of exposure for the non-smoking public and its accumulation in the human body may over time lead to harmful effects such as kidney failure. Maximum levels for cadmium in food have existed in EU legislation since 2001.

However, the new levels for chocolate and infant formula aim at protecting the most vulnerable groups like infants and young children. Three maximum levels have been set for chocolate, where the strictest maximum levels apply to chocolate varieties most eaten by children. A maximum level is also set for cocoa powder destined for direct consumption.

A transitional period has been foreseen to allow cocoa producing countries and the chocolate industry to adapt to these new levels which will apply from 1 January 2019. New maximum levels have also been set for several categories of infant formula, applying from 1 January 2015 onwards.

A Commission Recommendation on reducing the existing maximum levels for other important contributors to dietary exposure such as cereals, potatoes and other vegetables was also adopted allowing a progressive implementation by farmers and food business operators.

 
 
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