Codex Alimentarius Commission Meet: Outcomes

2019 ias preliminary exam test series

The Codex Alimentarius Commission is a joint intergovernmental body of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and WHO with 187 Member States and one Member Organization (EU).

Codex has worked since 1963 to create harmonized international food standards to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair trade practices.

WHO works on the provision of independent international scientific advice on microbiological and chemical hazards. Scientific advice is the basis for the development of international Food Standards by Codex.

Recently it has adopted a number of decisions to ensure food safety, including maximum residue limits for a range of drugs used in cattle and other animals, as well as revisions to guidance on agricultural and hygienic practices to minimize microbial, chemical and physical hazards to fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission, charged with protecting consumer health and ensuring fair practices in the food trade has met in Geneva in July 2017.

In this session, the Commission set maximum residue limits for medicines Ivermectin, which is used to kill parasites in tissues from cattle; Lasalocid sodium, which is used for a similar purpose in tissues from chicken, turkey, quail and pheasant; and insecticide Teflubenzuron used in salmon.

The Commission also adopted revisions to its risk-based Code of Hygienic Practice for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables to provide detailed guidance to stakeholders along fresh fruit and vegetable value chains – from producers through to final consumers.

The aim is to minimize microbial hazards, avoid risks to health, and maximize the safety of these nutritious food products, which are also of major economic importance for many countries in global trade.

The Commission also adopted the Nutrient Reference Values for vitamins D and E to be used for nutrient content labelling that would help consumers make informed choices to support healthy diets.

On spices and culinary herbs, the Commission adopted commodity standards, such as tolerances for defects, permitted levels of food additives and labelling, for cumin, dried thyme and pepper, which are among the world’s most widely used seasonings.

The Codex Alimentarius is a collection of international food standards that have been adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC).

Codex Standards cover all the main foods, whether processed, semi-processed or raw. In addition, materials used in the further processing of food products are included to the extent necessary for achieving the principal objectives of the code.

Codex provisions concern the hygienic and nutritional quality of food, including microbiological norms, food additives, pesticide and veterinary drug residues, contaminants, labelling and presentation, and methods of sampling and risk analysis.

Current Affairs for IAS Exam