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SAFE, GOOD FOOD FOR EVERYONE: Countries celebrate 50th anniversary of Codex Alimentarius

02/07/2013 - 

As Codex Alimentarius, the world's top food standard body for consumer protection and fair practices in international food trade, celebrated its 50th anniversary, the FAO and WHO Directors-General and national governments united in their praise for its benefits.

FAO and WHO carry out capacity development programmers that promote effective participation of developing countries to ensure that the 185 member countries of Codex all have a voice in the standard setting process. The Codex Trust Fund has over the last 10 years also provided capacity building as well as financial support for travel to those members who need it.

Developing countries attending the Commission meeting praised Codex for giving them a basis for national food legislation, protecting their consumers and allowing their countries to compete in international food trade.

"I can say without a doubt that Codex standards have been the basis for our food legislation," said Gloria Abraham Peralta, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of Costa Rica. She praised Codex's contribution to food safety and quality and said it had fostered "knowledge-based agriculture" in her country.

Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of Health and Family Welfare of India, said the Codex Alimentarius was vital as his country worked towards nutrition security and enacted food security legislation. "Since India imports a lot of food, Codex is very important for our country also," he said.

Assik Tommy Tomscoll, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of Papua New Guinea, spoke about how important Codex was for the economies of small countries such as the Pacific island states. He said he could envision a world where trade barriers were removed and "Codex Alimentarius will be the global blueprint for free and fair global practice."

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