The European Commission (EC) adopted last May 12th regulation fixing maximum limits for residues of cadmium in chocolates, cocoa-based products and food for infants and young children. The measure follows the scientific notification of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommending to the member countries the reduction of this heavy metal in foods.
The European Union has provided limits of cadmium in food since 2001. The goal now is to include restrictions for these new products in order to protect the health of children and adolescents, considered as the most vulnerable population.
The new rules for chocolates and cocoa powder must be adopted from January 1st, 2019. In the case of infant foods, the limits should be applied from January 1st, 2015. For other groups of aliments, such as cereals and vegetables, the EC decided for a progressive reduction of the levels of exposure.
Cadmium is a heavy metal from industrial and agricultural sources, but also existing in its natural state. The accumulation of this metal in the human body can cause health problems such as kidney failure.