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CCFL / Codex ensures consumers have the information they need on food labels


Cara Tannenbaum, Departmental Science Advisor to Health Canada, welcomed delegates to the 47th session of the Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL) taking place from 15-19 May 2023 in Gatineau, Ottawa in Canada. “Codex has served the global community well, allowing us to leverage the best possible science and evidence to support international standard setting,” she said, underling how countries consider the international labelling standards developed by the committee as they develop their own food labelling regulations and policies for their citizens.

Food labelling is a primary means of communication between the buyer and the seller. It takes complicated information and turns it into something understandable for the consumer on the very limited space on the label and in the very short time a purchasing decision is made. “The topics you are discussing this week demonstrate a creative response to the growing complexity of the world, the importance of health and consumer protection, and a leveraging of innovation and technology to make sure consumers have the information they need,” said Tannenbaum.

In marking the contribution CCFL has made to food safety in this the 60th anniversary year of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, Chairperson Steve Wearne, United Kingdom, congratulated the committee on its leadership, for being the first Codex committee to introduce social science into standard development and now for beginning to discuss sustainability labelling claims.

Codex Secretary Tom Heilandt said: “CCFL has built a comprehensive system of food labeling with the general standard and supporting guidelines and other standards, but as the world is changing it is important to renovate or extend that system so that it continues to give good guidance to consumers.”

World Food Safety Day, celebrated on 7 June has the theme this year Food standards save lives. “This is indeed celebrating all of us who dedicate our time and resources to creating the most useful standards we can achieve,” he said.

Other topics on the CCFL agenda include major work on food allergen labelling, and the labelling of exemptions in emergency situations.


Learn more

Visit the CCFL47 meeting page for all working documents and to follow the live webcast in English, French and Spanish.

Photo credit ©CCFL/Delegation of China