Page tools
codexalimentarius > News and Events > News details

CCCF14 underway / Contaminants a real and invisible threat to the safety of our food


The Director General for Agriculture and Food Quality of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality in The Netherlands, Ms Marije Beens opened the 14th session of the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Food (CCC14) which is taking place virtually – with approximately 400 delegates in attendance at the first session on 3 May 2021.

Acknowledging the challenges ahead of the committee in carrying out its discussions online, Director General Beens drew parallels with the current COVID pandemic in underlining the need to be aware of the threat contaminants in food contain.  “The contaminants that need to be kept out of food and animal feed as much as possible, are as invisible to the human senses as the virus that threatens us,” she said.

Just as with vaccines developed for COVID, Beens told delegates that it will be the standards that the committee develops “with the help of science and sound thinking” that will enable Codex to “achieve results in the interest of safe food and fair trade.”

Sally Hoffer, from the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality is chairing the session. “I am very glad that CCCF14 could be organized so we would not have a standstill for two years,” she said, urging countries to continue in these unfamiliar circumstances to continue to develop standards, “by working hard and acting in the spirit of consensus.”

Contaminants Committee begins virtually – chairperson Sally Hoffer

Steve Wearne, Vice-Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission welcomed delegates on behalf of the Chairperson and his fellow Vice-Chairpersons, describing how the lack of adequate food safety control continues to cause millions of instances of food-borne illness and many thousands of deaths each year.  “Although attention is often captured by acute illness caused by foodborne pathogens, the often chronic illness caused by contaminants in food is no less real.  It remains vital that we focus on the development and dissemination of Codex standards which ensure the safety and quality of food for everyone, everywhere.”


Read more

Video interview with Sally Hoffer

Meeting webpage including all working documents

Main photo: left to right - Sally Hoffer, Marije Beens