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Codex meetings explained


Codex Alimentarius Commission - the body charged with developing a food code - continues to draw world attention to the field of food quality and safety. The organisation recently published a report of recent Codex meetings. The group expressed its appreciation to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the significant shifts in resources in their respective budgets towards the areas of food safety and consumer protection, in particular the support to thescientific expert bodies that advise Codex and the strengthening of Codex and food control related activities in developing countries (para. 18). It also endorsed the view of the Executive Committee concerning the status of the Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables as the international body responsible for drafting grade standards for these products and emphasised the need to draw upon and develop the experience and expertise of specialised bodies working in this field (para. 23). It adopted the position, in regard to the consideration of precaution, that "When there is evidence that arisk to human health exists but scientific data are insufficient or incomplete, the Commission should not proceed to elaborate a standard but should consider elaborating a related text, such as a code of practice, provided that such a text would be supported by the available scientific evidence" (para. 83). Other highlights include the decision that its work should take into due account international regulatory initiatives and developments(para. 51). In a bid to improve transparency and to ensure an avoidance of biasand influence it was agreed in principle that the FAO and WHO should establish clear rules and procedures for the establishmentand functioning of a trust fund for consideration in the first instance by the Executive Committee in 2002 and the 25 th Session of the Commission in 2003. Further information on Codex meetings is available at site.

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