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CAC45 opens in FAO / QU Dongyu: science and data play a crucial role in setting standards


Over 350 online delegates joined nearly 400 returning to FAO for a physical session for the first time in three years as the 45th Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC45) opened on 21 November 2022. QU Dongyu Director-General of FAO, welcomed participants and underlined how rapidly advancing technology has made hybrid meetings such as CAC45 possible in full transparency, ensuring no one is left behind.

Science and data play a crucial role in the work of the Codex standard-setting body, he said, also making reference to the recent World Food Forum and the critical role of science, technology and innovation for agrifood systems transformation globally.

“A transformation of the world’s food systems is needed urgently, based on a One Health approach that protects and promotes the health of humans, animals and the planet,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General speaking via video. “The Codex Alimentarius has a critical role to play in guiding country regulations that promote health, while facilitating fair trade,” he continued.

Tedros underlined WHO’s commitment to continue working with FAO to develop and deliver high-quality scientific advice and evidence-based Global Food Safety Guidelines and standards.

The Chairperson of the Commission, Steve Wearne, United Kingdom also addressed the meeting. Chairing CAC for the first time he described the “buzz of excitement” in reconvening physically.

Among the standards to be adopted by the Commission in this session is a ground-breaking set of guidelines on Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) used for children with severe acute malnutrition.  Other measures to be adopted include Guidelines for the Management of Biological Foodborne Outbreaks, standards for fresh dates and onions and shallots and a Code of Practice for Prevention and Reduction of Cadmium Contamination in Cocoa Beans. CAC45 will also seek to resolve the issue of maximum residue limits for zilpaterol, a veterinary drug used to enhance growth performance in cattle.


Learn more

CAC45 meeting page

Additional FAQ on CAC45

CAC Chairperson Steve Wearne outlines conduct of discussions on zilpaterol

Photo credit ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano