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Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC)

Context:

Recently, India has been unanimously elected as a member representing the Asian region in the Executive Committee of Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) during its 46th meeting at Food and Agriculture organization (FAO) headquarters at Rome.

Relevance:

GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC)
  2. Codex Standards

Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC)

  • The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) is an international food standards organization established in May 1963, jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Its primary objective is to safeguard consumer health and promote equitable practices in food trade on a global scale.
  • The Agreement on Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) within the World Trade Organization (WTO) recognizes Codex standards, guidelines, and recommendations as the reference standards for international trade and resolving trade disputes.
  • Currently, the Codex Alimentarius Commission comprises 189 members, including 188 Member Countries and 1 Member Organization, which is the European Union.
  • India has been a member of the Codex Alimentarius Commission since 1964.

Codex Standards:

  • Codex standards encompass essential guidelines related to various aspects of food safety and quality.
  • These core Codex texts cover areas such as hygienic practices, labeling, contaminants, additives, inspection and certification procedures, nutrition, and residues of veterinary drugs and pesticides.
  • They are applied horizontally to a wide range of food products and categories.
  • In addition to these core standards, Codex also develops commodity standards tailored to specific food products, and there is an increasing focus on developing standards for broader food groups.
  • Regional Coordinating Committees develop standards applicable to their respective regions to ensure that regional needs and conditions are addressed within the Codex framework.

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