Lead is a naturally occurring heavy metal found in the soil, water, and air. It is also a toxic substance that can affect brain and kidney function and pregnancy outcomes. Robust international food safety standards help all nations to reduce toxic lead exposure. In 2021, the U.S. Codex Office (USCO) worked with the international food standards setting body (Codex Alimentarius) to develop science-based food standards. One area they focused on was reducing lead contamination in food.