STATEMENTS OF PRINCIPLE CONCERNING THE ROLE OF SCIENCE IN THE CODEX DECISION-MAKING PROCESS AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH OTHER FACTORS ARE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT
1. The food standards, guidelines and other recommendations of Codex Alimentarius shall be based on the principle of sound scientific analysis and evidence, involving a thorough review of all relevant information, in order that the standards assure the quality and safety of the food supply.
2. When elaborating and deciding upon food standards Codex Alimentarius will have regard, where appropriate, to other legitimate factors relevant for the health protection of consumers and for the promotion of fair practices in food trade.
3. In this regard it is noted that food labelling plays an important role in furthering both of these objectives.
4. When the situation arises that members of Codex agree on the necessary level of protection of public health but hold differing views about other considerations, members may abstain from acceptance of the relevant standard without necessarily preventing the decision by Codex.
Criteria for the Consideration of the Other Factors Referred to in the Second Statement of Principle
when health and safety matters are concerned, the Statements of Principle Concerning the Role of Science and the Statements of Principle Relating to the Role of Food Safety Risk Assessment should be followed;
other legitimate factors relevant for health protection and fair trade practices may be identified in the risk management process, and risk managers should indicate how these factors affect the selection of risk management options and the development of standards, guidelines and related texts;
consideration of other factors should not affect the scientific basis of risk analysis; in this process, the separation between risk assessment and risk management should be respected, in order to ensure the scientific integrity of the risk assessment;
it should be recognized that some legitimate concerns of governments when establishing their national legislation are not generally applicable or relevant world-wide;
only those other factors which can be accepted on a world-wide basis, or on a regional basis in the case of regional standards and related texts, should be taken into account in the framework of Codex;
the consideration of specific other factors in the development of risk management recommendations of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and its subsidiary bodies should be clearly documented, including the rationale for their integration, on a case-by-case basis;
the feasibility of risk management options due to the nature and particular constraints of the production or processing methods, transport and storage, especially in developing countries, may be considered; concerns related to economic interests and trade issues in general should be substantiated by quantifiable data;
the integration of other legitimate factors in risk management should not create unjustified barriers to trade; particular attention should be given to the impact on developing countries of the inclusion of such other factors.
STATEMENTS OF PRINCIPLE RELATING TO THE ROLE OF FOOD SAFETY RISK ASSESSMENT
1. Health and safety aspects of Codex decisions and recommendations should be based on a risk assessment, as appropriate to the circumstances.
2. Food safety risk assessment should be soundly based on science, should incorporate the four steps of the risk assessment process, and should be documented in a transparent manner.
3. There should be a functional separation of risk assessment and risk management, while recognizing that some interactions are essential for a pragmatic approach.
4. Risk assessment should use available quantitative information to the greatest extent possible and risk characterizations should be presented in a readily understandable and useful form.
MEASURES TO FACILITATE CONSENSUS
The Codex Alimentarius Commission, desiring that every effort should be made to reach agreement on the adoption or amendment of standards by consensus, recommends the following measures to facilitate consensus:
Refraining from submitting proposals in the step process where the scientific basis is not well established on current data and, where necessary, carry out further studies in order to clarify controversial issues;
Providing for thorough discussions and documentation of the issues at meetings of the committees concerned;
Organizing informal meetings of the parties concerned where disagreements arise, provided that the objectives of any such meetings are clearly defined by the Committee concerned and that participation is open to all interest delegations and observers in order to preserve transparency;
Redefining, where possible, the scope of the subject matter being considered for the elaboration of standards in order to cut out issues on which consensus could not be reached;
Providing that matters are not progressed from step to step until all relevant concerns are taken into account and adequate compromises worked out;
Emphasizing to Committees and their Chairpersons that matters should not be passed on to the Commission until such time as consensus has been achieved at the technical level;
Facilitating the increased involvement and participation of developing countries.
Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme
 Decision of the
21st Session of the Commission, 1995.|
 Decision of the 24th Session of the Commission, 2001.
 Confusion should be avoided between justification of national measures under the SPS and TBT Agreements and their validity at the international level.
 According to the WTO principles, and taking into account the particular provisions of the SPS and TBT Agreements.
 Decision of the 22nd Session of the Commission, 1997.
 Decision of the 26th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, 2003.