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Online webinar seeks to build consensus around antimicrobial text under development

Close to 200 participants gathered online on 19 January 2021 for the first of two webinars aimed at building understanding on a Codex text currently being drafted in the Codex antimicrobial resistance task force (TFAMR). The text in question is the Guidelines on Integrated Monitoring and Surveillance of Foodborne Antimicrobial Resistance which is being developed to assist governments when they design and implement their own AMR surveillance programmes. Typically, this type of programme will involve collecting and analyzing data from [...]
20 January 2021

The role of Codex and food safety in the 2021 Food Systems Summit

In 2021 a Food Systems Summit led by UN Secretary-General António Guterres will be part of what is known as the ‘Decade of Action’ to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Speaking at the Executive Committee session on 14 January 2021, Jamie Morrison, Director of the Food Systems Programme in FAO, told delegates how the Summit aims “to generate a much better understanding amongst the public as to the importance of the choices they make” regarding the purchase, consumption [...]
14 January 2021

FAO, WHO and Codex continuing to fulfil leadership in food safety and public health

Parent bodies applaud innovation in Codex, maintaining focus and momentum during the pandemic As the 80th session of the Executive Committee of the Codex Alimentarius Commission opened online on 13 January 2021, Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General of FAO, complimented Codex on its ability to quickly adapt to new efficient and effective virtual ways of working. During the pandemic, Codex standards have provided clear, immediate and effective solutions to protect supply chains and consumers and “together we have a chance to [...]
13 January 2021

Codex webinar series to discuss critical text on antimicrobial resistance

A webinar to discuss key issues on a Codex text regarding antimicrobial resistance (AMR), currently being drafted, will take place online on 19 and 20 January 2021. Working groups are established by Codex committees, usually to develop draft texts between sessions and traditionally operate by correspondence through online platforms such as forums and commenting systems. The suspension of formal physical committee meetings and the need to advance work, combined with experience and familiarity gained by many in participating in virtual events [...]
10 January 2021

Codex Secretary Tom Heilandt looks back on 2020

As 2020 drew to a close we asked Codex Secretary Tom Heilandt to look back on the year and these are his thoughts. What has been different about 2020? Just about everything! Travel went down from maybe 50 to three times.  Physical meetings, both Codex meetings and others were “virtually” non-existent. The last time, I met Codex members was at CCEXEC78 back in February, and our last physical Codex team meeting was at the beginning of March. So, everything was different, but [...]
01 January 2021

Brexit deal recognizes the value of Codex standards

The “Brexit” agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union reached on 24 December 2020 was described by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen as a “fair and balanced” deal. The treaty is expected to receive the support of all 27 member states and will be “provisionally applied” at the end of the year. Chapter 3 of the agreement describes collaboration on sanitary and phytosanitary measures with the objective of “enhanced cooperation” in international organizations including the Codex Alimentarius. [...]
31 December 2020

Incoming regional coordinators learn the key to Codex work

In the second of a series of online webinars organized by the Codex Secretariat for the incoming coordinators representing the six regions in the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the focus was on their role in the Executive Committee, the next session of which will take place, again virtually, from 13 to 21 January 2021. Guilherme Da Costa, Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission said: “The successful achievement of Members in Codex is directly related to the commitment of the Regional Coordinators to [...]
15 December 2020

Codex task force seeking consensus on antimicrobial resistance

Interview with Professor Yong Ho Park during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week The 43rd Codex Alimentarius Commission, which ended on Friday 6 November focused on the draft standards relayed by the committees that were held since September 2019. Among the topics discussed was the work of the Ad hoc Codex Intergovernmental Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance (TFAMR), an area of great international interest. After a lengthy discussion, Members agreed on the preliminary adoption of the revision of Code of Practice to Minimize and [...]
20 November 2020

Voluntary third-party assurance adding value to National Food Control Systems

Steve Wearne, Vice-Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, from the United Kingdom, spoke at the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement (or SPS) committee’s thematic session on 3 November 2020, to explain the value that voluntary third-party assurance (vTPA) can add to National Food Control Systems.  Participants heard about the UK experience of using vTPA data in a new approach to animal feed inspection and enforcement, which has achieved an 83 percent reduction in official inspections, while investing more than ever [...]
16 November 2020

Growing relevance of standards as WTO committee celebrates 25 years

For 25 years an agreement on how governments can apply food safety and animal and plant health measures (sanitary and phytosanitary or SPS measures) has set out the basic rules for trading partners in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The SPS Agreement ensures a country’s consumers are supplied with food that is safe and that national health and safety regulations are not used for protecting domestic markets. The SPS Agreement encourages governments “to establish national SPS measures consistent with international standards, [...]
06 November 2020
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