Diplomats set new safety standards for formula, nuts and gluten

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Diplomats in Geneva recently set new limits on the amount of certain kinds of bacteria allowable in baby formula as well as the level of natural toxins in some types of nuts. They also tackled the amount of gluten permissible in products labeled 'gluten-free.' The safety standards will apply to all internationally shipped foods.

The outcome of the standards is to hopefully affect hygiene practices and therefore reduce the amount of contamination of two kinds of bacteria in powdered formulas which have been known to cause illness and death in infants. Foods labeled gluten-free would not be able to contain more than 20 milligrams of gluten per kilogram, nor could they contain wheat, rye, barley or oats. Regulations were also set for the amounts of aflotoxins in almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios. Aflotoxins are known carcinogens in lab animals.

Over 170 countries claim membership to The Codex Alimentarius Commission responsible for making these decision, which also includes the European Union. Other topics for consideration are frozen foods, flavoring, tomatoes (no surprise there given the United States' recent issues with them) and mineral water.

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