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The Codex Alimentarius Commission, jointly created by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO), is the most important international body in the field of food standards. Since 1963, Codex has developed hundreds of internationally recognized standards, guidelines and codes of practice. It has defined thousands of permitted levels of additives, contaminants and chemical residues in food. The end goal: ensure food is safe for everyone, everywhere.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) held its first meeting in 1963. Although the CAC has not met every year in between, 2023 will represent 60 years of activity.

CAC45 plenary, Rome, November 2022 © FAO/Giulio Napolitano

Why we are celebrating a 60th anniversary (Codex@60)

The 44th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC44), held in November 2021, agreed that Codex@60 in 2023 would be a “wonderful occasion” to raise awareness about food safety and quality also in connection with the 5th celebration of World Food Safety Day (WFSD). CAC45 encouraged all Codex Members and Observers to use the opportunity of the Codex 60th Anniversary to plan and implement activities to build awareness of Codex and to engage high level political support for Codex work.

The 82nd Session of Executive Committee of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which took place in June 2022, further noted the guidance of FAO and WHO in holding a yearlong celebration of Codex@60 and the committee envisaged the anniversary as an opportunity to promote: the essential role Codex still plays impacting consumer health and fair practices in the food trade; the people of Codex, and the future of Codex.

Activities in the Codex Secretariat

For the Codex Secretariat the aim of Codex@60 is to mark the achievements of 60 years of standard setting with an event at CAC46 whilst at the same time relaunching the Codex website and transforming the "food code" of standards, guidelines and codes of practice and the Procedural Manual with a new format and layout and a digital object identifier to track downloads and citations.

Events throughout the Codex world

Codex Members, Observers and all those wishing to mark the 60th anniversary are being encouraged to share their events with the Codex Secretariat for publication on the website and in the Codex@60 special edition of the CAC annual magazine.

The anniversary is an opportunity to showcase the key benefits of Codex standards, though awareness raising events, case studies on impact and other success stories. But is also a chance to reflect on the future of Codex as part of the current global agenda and how it can contribute to the transformation of food systems.

Send your contributions to [email protected].

WEBCAST OF THE CODEX 60TH ANNIVERSARY

Please watch the Webcast of the 60th Anniversary Event - Live from Geneva

News about Codex@60

Celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Codex Alimentarius in Spain

On June 19 and 20, 2023 the Reference Conferences of the National Food Center (CNA) of the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN) took place online. This is an event held annually in which the Official Food Safety Control Laboratories of Spain meet with the Competent Authorities that designate them for this official control, with the aim of sharing the latest developments of interest in the field of work [...]
20 July 2023

Sultanate of Oman commits to Codex and global food standards in 60th anniversary video

The Sultanate of Oman declares its commitment to Codex and to international standards and guidelines for food safety and quality in a video recently released as part of the country’s celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Codex Alimentarius. The country has been a Codex Member for over 50 years and has actively participated in the development of global standards and in particular has played an active role in regional initiatives [...]
12 July 2023

Peru celebrates Codex 60th anniversary

In April 2023 the Peruvian General Directorate of Environmental Health and Food Safety - DIGESA, organized a ceremony and conferences the celebrate the 60th anniversary of Codex. Staff at DIGESA celebrate the Codex 60th anniversary in Peru. Those taking part included Jorge Villena Chávez, former Director General of DIGESA, who initiated Codex work in Peru and was also their first national Codex Chairperson.   Learn more about the event (Spanish) Photo credit Main photo Jorge Villena [...]
06 July 2023

Voices from Codex at Pesticide Residues Committee in Beijing

As part of the celebrations for the Codex 60th anniversary, the Codex Secretariat has been gathering memories and stories from delegations attending committees in 2023. During the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues which took place in Beijing, China from 26 June to 1 July 2023, the Secretariat was able to capture the views of three different Codex Members and a member of the invaluable interpretation team. Here are their stories.   Karsten Hohgardt, Germany    Warren [...]
06 July 2023

Ngā mihi nui: Celebrating New Zealand at Codex – Past, Present and Future

In mid-June 2023, just weeks after marking World Food Safety Day, New Zealand celebrated 60 years of success in Codex at The Beehive, New Zealand Parliament. The anniversary festivities were attended by the Minister for Food Safety, Hon Rachel Brooking and the Minister of Agriculture, Hon Damien O’Connor.  Representatives from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) also attended, including Director-General Ray Smith, Deputy Director-General (DDG) Policy and Trade Julie Collins, acting [...]
05 July 2023

Leading the way in food safety: Interview with Dr. Yu-Kyoung Oh, Minister of Food and Drug Safety, Korea

Korea recently marked the successful celebration of the 22nd Korean Food Safety Day and on the occasion of this achievement, we had the opportunity to interview Yu-Kyoung Oh, the Minister of Food and Drug Safety of the Republic of Korea. We wanted to delve into the country's accomplishments in the field of food safety management. The minister shared her insights and outlined the plans to ensure that food safety remains [...]
30 June 2023

Polish Codex Contact Point launches translation of General Principles of Food Hygiene

The Codex Contact Point (CCP) in Poland has completed the translation of a foundation Codex text, the General Principles of Food Hygiene into Polish. “This standard is of the greatest interest to stakeholders in Poland,” said Magdalena Kowalska (pictured second left), “and we have frequently been asked about access to this particular document by food business operators.” The project is part of Polish celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Codex Alimentarius [...]
27 June 2023

CCPR / Committee plays an increasingly important role in development of international food safety system

Mr. Zhang Xingwang, Vice Minister at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People's Republic of China, (pictured above) opened the 54th session of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR), taking place from 26 June to 1 July 2023 in Beijing, China. This committee sets the largest number of numerical standards in Codex and over the past 15 sessions in China has discussed and adopted over 5 000 [...]
26 June 2023
https://youtu.be/kePuyuVPNyU

Interview with Greg Noonan: "I had no idea what I was looking at"

As part of the 60th Anniversary Celebrations of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the Codex Secretariat has been talking to experts who lead work in committees to understand their motivation, their work and their views on the world of Codex in general. At the Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling, which took place in Budapest, Hungary from 12 to 16 June 2023, we caught up with Greg Noonan who is [...]
22 June 2023

New Codex Guideline on Measurement Uncertainty unveiled in Budapest

In 2022 the Codex Secretariat began work on reviewing the formatting and layout of Codex texts to ensure consistency, to meet FAO and international publishing standards and to enhance readability. A digital object identifier (DOI) has also been added to standards as they are published, providing a unique reference that can support tracking and citation of each text. The project is part of the Codex Secretariat’s contribution to the celebration [...]
20 June 2023
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Key Information

  • Codex standards, guidelines and codes of practice deal with everything that can have an impact on the safety or quality of our food
  • All Codex food safety work is based on the scientific advice provided by independent expert bodies under the auspices of FAO and WHO
  • Codex food safety standards are reference texts in the World Trade Organization (WTO) SPS (Sanitary and Phytosanitary) agreement
  • The Codex Alimentarius has become a global reference for trade between countries and has also in many cases led to improvements in domestic production
  • Food safety is very much the responsibility of all parties along the value chain, from producer to consumer
  • Codex continually reviews its standards to ensure the best possible protection for consumers without unnecessarily restricting trade

Women leaders in Codex

For Codex@60 we researched all the women who have chaired Codex committees since 1963.

Resources

All visual digital assets for Codex@60 are available here.