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France appoints Jean-Luc Angot as chair of Codex General Principles Committee


Following the retirement of Michel Thibier as chair of the Codex Committee on General Principles (CCGP) after over 15 years of service, France has appointed a successor. Jean-Luc Angot, General Inspector of Veterinary Public Health at the French Ministry for Agriculture and Food, will guide the work of the committee that deals with all procedural and general matters.  He will preside over the next session in March 2019 where CCGP will begin to develop procedural guidance that ensures the transparency and inclusiveness of committees working by correspondence, as decided by the Codex Alimentarius Commission earlier this month.

Just before the commission met, the Codex Secretariat had a question and answer session with Jean-Luc.

Q: You have over 30 years first-hand experience of agriculture, food safety, animal health and trade, how would you characterize the importance of Codex standards?

A: I see the importance of Codex standards in the context of increased globalisation, not only in food products but in changing demographics and the increase in demand for food. I also see consumers becoming more and more demanding, seeking more guarantees for food products. The challenge will be to continue to raise the profile of Codex, not only in the WTO but also to reassure consumers.

Q: You headed up work on Codex and WTO SPS in the Prime Minister’s office in France in the 90s, what new challenges does Codex face since those times?

A: The first challenge I see is to ensure the sustainability of agriculture in general and food in particular. Increasingly we are dealing with new technologies and this is a revolution that will impact food production and consumption. Another new challenge is to respond to new public expectation. Yes, our work is based on scientific assessment but we also need to deal in the management of the politics of food to provide a response to demands of consumers. So, in summing up: sustainability, new technology, societal changes.

Q: And the particular opportunities with technology?

A: We have to deal in Codex with technological advancements in agricultural production, but not only this process, also e-commerce and use of smartphones. I think labelling is another area in that will also see changes due to new technology and we will need to be aware of this.

Q: What role do you envisage for the Codex committee that you will be chairing?

A; It is like a laboratory of ideas, a think tank. It is important to deal with the framework of CCGP – our Procedural Manual: but we also need to look at wider issues for Codex, especially the use of new technology as I said earlier and to see how we can work together electronically, perhaps also with virtual committee sessions. I also support the idea of making our procedural manual easy to use – and we should continue in this direction.

Read more about CCGP

Download the Codex Procedural Manual