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The Basics

The Codex Alimentarius Commission (commonly referred to as Commission) is the body established by FAO and WHO to develop food standards under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme. The Codex [...]

The Basics

The Membership of the Commission is composed of those Members and Associate Members of FAO and WHO that have expressed a desire to be considered as Members of the Commission. [...]

The Basics

Since its beginnings in 1963, the Codex system has evolved in an open, transparent and inclusive way to meet emerging challenges. The Codex Alimentarius Commission and its subsidiary bodies are [...]

The Basics

Meetings of the Commission and its subsidiary bodies are general held in public and open to delegations representing member countries and organizations with official observer status, with the exception of [...]

The Basics

There is a lot at stake for protecting consumers' health and ensuring fair practices in the food trade.  All information on Codex is public and free. For general inquiries about [...]

Standards

The term "Codex Alimentarius" is Latin and means "food code”. Codex standards are international food texts, i.e. standards, codes of practice, codes of hygienic practice, guidelines and other recommendations, established [...]

Standards

Codex standards are used by its Members to protect the health of the consumers and to ensure fair practices in the food trade. Reference to the Codex Alimentarius occurs in [...]

Standards

Codex standards are adopted in most cases by consensus among Members and are based on the best scientific and technical knowledge. International organizations with official Observer Status in Codex may also [...]

Standards

Codex texts are voluntary and do not have binding effect on national food legislation. However, WTO Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) and on Technical Barriers to Trade [...]

Standards

Use our List of Standards or browse by Codex Committee.[...]

Development of standards

Proposals for new work usually originate at the Committee level, and are transmitted to the Commission by means of a project document, which is first examined by the Executive Committee, [...]

Development of standards

The normal elaboration process follows eight distinct steps, involving two rounds of comments by members and observers. A decision may be taken at step 5 to omit the second round [...]

Development of standards

Before a decision is made to undertake the development of a new standard or other text, a project proposal is prepared and discussed at Committee level. The procedure to approve [...]

Development of standards

Where Codex subsidiary bodies have been abolished or dissolved, or Codex committees have been adjourned sine die, the Secretariat keeps under review all Codex standards and related texts elaborated by [...]

Development of standards

The Codex Alimentarius has addressed several food safety related challenges over these years and the membership has also found solutions on a timely basis to meet these challenges. Codex stepped [...]

Using the standards

The two WTO agreements of most significance for international food trade and Codex are: the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Measures (SPS), which concerns measures applied to protect [...]

Using the standards

Codex, as an inter-governmental organization, prepares documents to assist governments in their statutory and regulatory work to protect their citizens from health hazards caused by food consumption. Compliance with applicable [...]

Using the standards

Members use Codex standards to ensure safe, good quality food to their citizens. By introducing legislation and regulation that is consistent with Codex standards and guidelines governments may reduce the [...]

Using the standards

International organizations – either IGOs or INGOs - with official Observer Status in Codex may participate in Codex meetings as well as in working groups established. Observers may make interventions, [...]

Using the standards

To find out more about standards already adopted or to download a copy of an existing standard, consult the Official List of Standards at the Codex Alimentarius Commission website.[...]

Science

Codex Committees, when developing standards, apply risk analysis and rely on the independent scientific advice provided by expert bodies organized by FAO/WHO. These bodies also give direct advice to Member [...]

Science

Risk analysis is fundamental to the scientific basis of Codex food safety standards. It also provides information on how countries can request, access and contribute data to this process. It [...]

Science

The scientific advice is the product of a group of experts selected to work in their personal capacity and not as representatives of their country, or of the institution by [...]

Science

The scientific basis for Codex work is provided by FAO and WHO. Scientific advice is provided by FAO/WHO expert committees and ad hoc expert consultations. Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food [...]

Transparency

Codex is financed by all member governments of FAO and WHO. Their contribution is either channeled through their assessed contribution to FAO and to WHO, or through in-kind contribution by [...]

Transparency

FAO and WHO provide expert scientific advice on many aspects of food quality, safety and nutrition relevant to the work of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. While not officially part of [...]

Transparency

A wide range of international Non-governmental Organizations, representing consumers, universities and scientists, industry …, can take part in Codex work and voice their views. Over 160 international Non-governmental Organizations representing [...]

Transparency

Member States and International Organizations engage in Codex food safety standard making activities through different channels and in different manners in order to achieve their respective interests. As one of [...]

In the news

Antimicrobial resistance is resistance of a microorganism to an antimicrobial drug that was originally effective for treatment of infections caused by it. The evolution of resistant strains is a natural [...]

In the news

Glyphosate is the world’s most used herbicide and a common weed killer in agriculture and home gardening. Its most common commercial name is Roundup (a Monsanto brand). In March 2015 [...]

In the news

Codex is strongly committed to promote safe foods. Amongst safe foods, Codex does not give any preference to certain kinds of foods over others. Such choice belongs to consumers. Codex [...]

In the news

Codex has developed standards and a code of practice to effectively apply the irradiation technology to improve food safety, together with guidance on the labelling of irradiated foods. However, it [...]

In the news

Contaminants in food concern consumers and producers in the food safety chain. The Commission has established a Codex Committee on Contaminants in Food (CCCF) that has elaborated 20 standards on [...]

Online Commenting

The OCS, or Online Commenting System, is an online tool that Codex members and observers can use to insert, share, and submit their comments in a safe and secure online [...]

Online Commenting

The OCS can be used by the member states of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, as well as by observers – IGOs, NGOs and Observers – that participate in the Codex [...]

Online Commenting

The OCS ensures confidentiality and safe submission of comments by the official Codex contact points. It implements a common commenting format and it facilitates inclusivity in the Codex standard setting [...]

Online Commenting

In order to log in, users must possess a Username and Password that have been assigned by Codex Secretariat. To apply for Username and Password, please contact the Codex Secretariat [...]

Online Commenting

The classification of comments and their definitions are below: ⋅ EDITORIAL: This type of comment clarifies or simplifies the text without changing the meaning. This includes spelling or grammatical corrections, suggestions [...]

Online Commenting

You can go to the OCS at https://ocs.codexalimentarius.org/ and select “Contact Us: here” at the bottom of the page, or send an email to Codex-OCS@fao.org. More information about the Codex OCS [...]