Page tools
codexalimentarius > News and Events > News details
PHOTO-2023-04-05-15-02-59 (cropped).jpg

Over 11 200 Codex standards to be harmonized into Bangladeshi food safety legislation


In a high-level event on Saturday 25 March 2023, the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) announced the successful drafting of 11 200 food standards harmonized with Codex. These are expected to be gazette-notified before the end of the year. The announcement was made by chief guest, Bangladesh’s Cabinet Secretary, Md Mahbub Hossain, in an event that also heard remarks from special guests, Md Ismiel Hossain ndc, Secretary, Ministry of Food, and Ms Wahida Aktar, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, and guests of honour, Robert Simpson, FAO Country Representative, and Maurizio Cian, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh. Md Abdul Kayowm Sarker, Chairman (Additional Secretary) of the BFSA chaired the session. Dr Monzur Morshed Ahmed, Member of BFSA, gave a presentation on the Process of Formulating Food Safety Regulations Aligned with Codex Alimentarius in Bangladesh. The keynote address, presented by former Codex Chairperson Sanjay Dave, was entitled Significance of Aligning Food Safety and Quality Regulations with Codex Alimentarius.

In this significant undertaking, the standards (including food additive-product combinations) were drafted by 27 Technical Working Groups (TWGs) as part of a strategy devised by and under the guidance of Sanjay Dave, former Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and with support from FAO as part of the broader Meeting the Undernutrition Challenge (MUCH) project in Bangladesh, which is co-funded by the European Union and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The TWGs comprised a total of more than 200 experts including 36 from India who, over a period of over four months and during more than 125 virtual meetings, reviewed not only Codex standards but also standards of the United States of America, the European Union, India, existing Bangladesh standards, Southeast Asian standards, standards of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), and standards of other relevant countries. The Bangladeshi experts were identified from a range of stakeholder groups to ensure the drafting process was fully inclusive. Food industry experts, government institutions, commodity experts, academics, consumer organizations and representatives of trade bodies were all involved. Indian experts worked in each of the TWGs and offered their services pro bono.

“This project is a unique example of Public Private Partnership across borders in order to enhance cooperation for better regional trade with the help of an equal level of food standards,” Dave said of the work. Sridhar Dharmapuri, Senior Food Safety and Nutrition Officer at the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific made the point that "this is a great example for other countries".

“It’ll be a great achievement,” Dave said in an interview before the event, “and an example in the 60th anniversary that food standards save lives. And we’ve made food standards - duly aligned with Codex. It’ll be a great job. It’ll be an example for other countries that Bangladesh will put in front of everyone.” The 25 March celebration was followed up on 28 March by a one-day workshop to further build leadership in safe food business and in May, a full five days’ training on Codex will take place with a mock Codex Committee meeting to reinforce capacity in effective participation in Codex.

The Bangladesh Food Safety Authority was established at the time the 2013 Food Safety Act was passed. The Act requires BFSA to harmonize food safety and quality standards with international standards.


Learn more

FAO in Bangladesh


Photo caption: National Workshop on Harmonization of Food Standards with Codex, with Cabinet Secretary Dr Mahbub Hossain (centre) making the announcement in the presence of the two Secretaries sitting by his side.

Photo credit ©Sanjay Dave