Codex Alimentarius is a Latin phrase for Food Code. It is an organization originally founded to regulate the world food trade and protect consumers. The Codex has been declared by its founders as being a commission interested in and focusing on protecting the health of consumers. They ensure fair trade practices in the food trade and also, they promote coordination of all food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non – governmental organizations.
The Codex Alimentarius is a conglomerate endeavor and it is regulated by FAO (the Food and Agricultural Organization) and the WHO (World Health Organization). The Codex Alimentarius is published in the six official languages of the United Nations: English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic, but not all texts are available in all languages.
The Codex Alimentarius began in 1893. It was initially instituted as a regulatory overseer for cases involving illnesses and death caused by food related issues. Mandates and guidelines by which all food illnesses related cases would be measured were established and became known as Codex Alimentarius and later, it grew into the joint venture which is present today.
Nowadays, the Codex Alimentarius is still investing in monitoring food safety. But, it seems that the code is even more in favor of supporting big name companies and multinational interests that it is the people affected by poor food regulation.
Below are mentioned the main objective of Codex Alimentarius:
- Protect the health of consumers
- Ensuring fair practices in the international food trade
- Coordinate all food standards work that is done by governmental and non – governmental organizations
At this moment, Codex Alimentarius Commission has 189 Codex Members. They are made up of 188 Member Countries and 1 Member Organization (The European Union). Codex Alimentarius has members from Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Southwest Pacific and Near East.
Below is given the covering area of Codex Alimentarius:
- Methods of analysis and sampling
- Food labeling (general standard, guidelines on nutrition labeling, guidelines on labeling claims)
- Food hygiene (general principles, codes of hygienic practice in specific industries or food handling establishments, guidelines for the utilization of the Hazard Analysis and the important Critical Control Point or HACCP system)
- The pesticide and veterinary chemical residues in foods (maximum residue limits)
- The food additives (general standard, including authorized uses, specifications for food grade chemicals)
- Risk assessment procedures for determining the security of foods derived from biotechnology (DNA – modified plants, DNA – modified micro – organisms, allergens)
- Contaminants in foods (general standard, tolerances for specific contaminants, including aflatoxins, radionuclides and other mycotoxins)
Below are the specific standards of Codex Alimentarius:
- Miscellaneous food products (mineral water, honey, sugar and chocolate)
- Meat products (poultry, processed meats, frozen meats and fresh meats)
- Fats, oils and derived products, such as margarine
- Fish and fishery products (aquaculture, fresh water and marine)
- Cereals and derived products, dried legumes
- Milk and milk products
- Fresh and processed vegetables, fruits and fruit juices
- Foods for special dietary uses (including baby foods and infant formula)
Concern about Codex Alimentarius:
Nowadays, it seems that the Codex Alimentarius has been modified from its original benevolent food organization into an association that is illicit, toxic and fraudulent. In the recent years, the Commission of Codex Alimentarius has overseen the attempt to regulate vitamins and supplements and it requires a prescription for any such item.
Similarly, the Codex Alimentarius clouds the issue of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and promulgates a false sense of food safety and regulation. The most important action which the Codex Alimentarius is taking in regards to food safety is staying aware.
It is known that the Codex Alimentarius was designed to protect the general population. Nowadays, it seems that every individual must be responsible for protecting him or herself.