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
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
- 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
- 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
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
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.
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
 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.