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Food quality and safety tops annual meeting of UN standardssetting body

The Codex Alimentarius Commission, which convened today in Geneva, is set to approve a code of practice on good animal feeding that would establish a feed safety system for food-producing animals. The new system would take into account relevant aspects of animal health and the environment to minimize risks to the health of consumers. The Commission is also expected to formally approve work to revise the 23-year-old recommended international code of practice for foods for infants and children, including cases of formula contamination. During its weeklong 27th session, the Commission will also consider re-establishing the ad hoc intergovernmental task force on foods derived from biotechnology in a bid to keep up with its fast-changing applications and the increasing interest of consumers in the potential health impact of genetically modified foods. The Commission was set up in 1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)and the World Health Organization (WHO) and has 170 Member States plus the European Community. The Commission traditionally met once every two years but shifts this year to meet yearly in response to a joint FAO-WHO evaluation, which called on Codex to speed up its work and adapt to the ever-increasing demands of member countries. Last year the WHO World Health Assembly called on Codex to become more effective at managing health risks in food.

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