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41st Commission reaffirms commitment to science and consensus

At a meeting attended by over 650 delegates from 121 Member countries and 84 observer organizations, more than 30 standards were adopted and will now be published in the Codex Alimentarius or “food code”. In his closing remarks on Friday Guilherme da Costa from Brazil, the chairperson of the Commission thanked delegates for the flexible and constructive approach to what is often “a delicate negotiation process but one that has global effects on food safety and fair practices in trade.” Some of [...]
09 July 2018

Bringing science to high-quality cuisine

Famous chef demonstrates the WHO Five Keys to Food Safety Heinz Beck, a well known three-star Michelin chef, gave Codex Members and Observers a glimpse of his approach to creating fine, safe cuisine. Cooking up a symphony of ‘vegetables of the heart’, Beck emphasized the importance of food hygiene and applying Codex standards in the kitchen. FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo introduced Beck, highlighting the principles to which he adheres: circular economy, zero food waste, tasty and healthy food, which help [...]
06 July 2018

Experiences and lessons in facilitating safe trade

A side session on global funding for food safety initiatives “While the Codex Trust Fund is about establishing national Codex structures and helping developing standards, the Standard Trade Development Facility (STDF) comes in at the following step to help countries implement the standards,” explained Melvin Spreij, Head of STDF Secretariat at a side event of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. “Achieving food safety is a joint responsibility. We encourage developing countries to apply to STDF project preparation grants and project grants”, he [...]
05 July 2018

The science behind Codex standards

A side event about the FAO/WHO Scientific Advice Programmes Delegates gained a better understanding of how FAO and WHO provide scientific support for the development of Codex standards during a CAC41 side event. Panellists described how the requests for scientific advice for food safety and nutrition are managed, how the experts are selected and the way the topics are chosen for the risk assessments. The panel, comprised of FAO and WHO officers, also explained the links between the FAO/WHO Scientific Advice Programmes and the [...]
05 July 2018

Facilitating information-sharing to avoid trade issues

A side session explores the benefits of the WTO ePing system When trading products, governments establish requirements to accomplish policy objectives including the protection of human, animal and plant health, or protection of the environment. The World Trade Organization (WTO) SPS and TBT Agreements aim to ensure that these requirements do not create unnecessary obstacles to international trade. Under the WTO, Members are required to notify other Members before adopting new measures if these are likely to affect international trade and provide an opportunity [...]
05 July 2018

Tackling food safety emergencies on a global scale

The International Food Safety Authorities Network presented at CAC41 side session Increasing globalization of food trade heightens the risk of contaminated food spreading quickly around the globe. Through the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN), WHO assists Member States in managing food safety risks, ensuring rapid sharing of information during food safety emergencies to stop the spread of contaminated food from one country to another. INFOSAN also facilitates the exchange of experiences and tested solutions to protect the health of consumers.  At a [...]
05 July 2018

Organizations discuss food integrity and authenticity

Two side events with international governmental and non-governmental organizations International governmental and non-governmental organizations agreed that Codex is the ideal forum to address issues related to food fraud and authenticity on the margins of the 41st Codex Alimentarius Commission. During the side sessions moderated by Carlos Laorden of El País, participants reported the need to speak the same language on food fraud, to define an agreed terminology and that steps should be taken to mitigate risks associated with deliberate tampering and substitution, [...]
04 July 2018

How many cases of foodborne disease are there in your country?

A side event about the impact of unsafe food The reasons that question is difficult to answer are many, a side event on the third day of the 41st Codex Alimentarius Commission heard. To start with, how many people consult a doctor after getting diarrhoea from something they ate? The true magnitude and cost of foodborne diseases are often unknown due to cases not being reported, investigated or recognized. While the exact figures cannot be known, panellists explained that foodborne illnesses affect [...]
04 July 2018

Building national capacities to engage in Codex

A side event about Codex Trust Fund 2 project results of the first round Codex Members again took center stage during a Codex Alimentarius Commission side event, this time to present progress resulting from Codex Trust Fund 2 (CTF2) support. Ghana, the Kyrgyz Republic, Madagascar and Senegal received funding for projects aimed at strengthening their national Codex structures in 2016, during the first round of the CTF2, and offered tips that could help the ten recipient countries of the second round [...]
03 July 2018

Supporting countries to implement Codex standards

A side event about pathways to learning Codex Member countries discussed the recent food safety-related capacity development initiatives that they undertook with FAO and WHO, during a side event on the first day of the 41st session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC41). The conversation centred on FAO- and WHO-led initiatives that complement the work of Codex, by building food safety capacities in countries using relevant tools, guidance and publications. To achieve sustainable results at country level and ensure that efforts bring about lasting [...]
03 July 2018