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News from the Regional Coordinator for Europe (Kazakhstan)


One role of the regional coordinators in Codex is to bring to the attention of the wider Codex community topics of particular interest emerging from their regions relating to food safety and quality standards or trade. In a historic first for Codex, an Eastern European country — Kazakhstan — has taken the reins of the FAO/WHO Regional Coordinating Committee for Europe (CCEURO), as Regional Coordinator for Europe.

Regional standard for mare’s milk

Several meetings took place in 2017 with a producer of freeze-dried mare’s milk—a dry powder-like product said to be similar in physical and chemical properties to human breast milk. The producer tells an interesting story about a prisoner of war in Kazakhstan who was given mare’s milk by locals to treat his tuberculosis. Upon his return to Germany, he established a production facility whose technology is used today to produce a product traded mainly in China. The company is seeking opportunities to expand their trade, and the development of a Codex regional standard would help towards this goal.


Codex Kazakhstan

Pictured: R&D Director – Galymzhan Meirambekov; technologist – Damir Zhunussov; export manager – Meruert Rakhimbergiyeva; Codex Regional Coordinator for Europe– Nailya Karsybekova; expert on nutrition of the Codex Alimentarius Team – Zhanar Tolysbayeva

Collaboration with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

In November, the Regional Coordinator met with the Head of the Subregional Office of the International Epizootic Bureau for Central Asia, Taitubaev Mereke, and a technical assistant, Diana Montabord. Their discussion focused on possible avenues for cooperation between Codex in Central Asia and OIE in the areas of food safety, antimicrobial resistance and capacity building. Discussions have also taken place this year with OIE on the outcomes of the last Codex regional meeting and in particular on food fraud.

Antimicrobial resistance

On 13 November 2017, a meeting was held at the KazZhol Hotel, with participants including representatives of the World Health Organization's Country Office and the subregional office of the International Epizootic Bureau for Central Asia. The round table discussion provided an opportunity for relevant ministries, agencies and international organizations to exchange views on the main elements of the National Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance.

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

November 2017 also saw the holding of a workshop, at the National Center for Biotechnologies, on the subject of State regulation of GMOs, chaired by the General Director of the Center, Yerlan Ramankulov. Participants presented seven reports on topics including improving Kazakh legislation regarding GMO regulation, harmonizing domestic legislation with international standards, creating a biosafety system based on the experience of the Republic of Belarus, and modern methods for detecting GMOs in food products. Regional Coordinator Nailya Karsybekova gave some introductory remarks about the Codex Alimentarius Commission, its goals and objectives, and underscored how the honour of serving as Regional Coordinator for Europe would enhance Kazakhstan’s role on the global food safety landscape.

World Health Organization (WHO)

On 13 December 2017, the Regional Coordinator met the Permanent Representative of the WHO to Kazakhstan, Assistant Direct-General Dr Oleg Chestnov, at an event where participants discussed cooperation between the Codex Alimentarius Team and the WHO Country Office as well as preparations for two forthcoming highlights of the 2019 calendar: the 31st Session of CCEURO, and the Global Conference on Food Safety.