The Codex Alimentarius Commission hosted an online meeting in November 2021 that included more than 800 participants. Although the Commission did agree on a range of standards, it was forced to delay approval of the final report since it ran out of time during the final meeting.
The Commission approved new standards, guidelines, and codes of practice. In addition, a new chairperson of the Commission, Steve Wearne, Director of Global Affairs at the Food Standards Agency, was elected. New vice chairpersons include Allan Azelege from Kenya, Raj Rajesekar from New Zealand, and Diego Varela from Chile.
Major guidelines adopted include monitoring of foodborne antimicrobial resistance and front-of-pack nutrition labeling, which will help consumers understand food's nutritional value. Additionally, guidance on the paperless use of electronic certificates was adopted.
The Commission also formalized a standard on the maximum levels of cadmium in chocolate containing below 30 percent cocoa solids on a dry matter basis and between 30–50 percent cocoa solids. The Commission will also continue to work on a code for the prevention of cadmium contamination in cocoa beans. New contamination standards proposed include maximum levels for methylmercury in orange roughy and pink cusk eel, a code for the prevention of mycotoxin in cassava products, maximum levels for lead in defined food categories, and maximum levels of total aflatoxins in ready-to-eat peanuts.
For spices, standards were finalized for dried oregano, dried or dehydrated ginger, cloves, and dried basil. The Commission will work to develop standards for small cardamom, turmeric, and spices in the form of dried fruits and berries. Saffron, dried chili peppers, and paprika will also be examined.
Originally, the Commission planned to adopt the report in November, but they now plan to finalize it at a session on December 14, 2021. The December 14 session will also include a discussion on 2022 food safety strategies from the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization.