NPPC Representatives Engage in Codex Commission Meeting

What happened: NPPC’s Dr. Trachelle Carr, international technical services specialist, and Dr. Ashley Johnson, food policy director, this week attended the 46th annual meeting of the Codex Alimentarius Commission in Rome, Italy. The commission serves as the international food safety standards-setting body for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization.

Why it matters: Members of the Codex commission discussed guidelines for the control of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and for the safe use and reuse of water in food production and processing. They also adopted a maximum residue limit (MRL) for Zilpaterol, a veterinary drug used in cattle. The adoption of this standard supports the Codex Commission’s science-based safety for food.

In addition to commemorating the 60th anniversary of Codex and adopting new texts and revisions and amendments to existing ones, the commission discussed the application of statements of principle on the role of science in the Codex decision-making process and the extent to which other factors should be considered. It also addressed the need for standards and related texts on new food sources and production systems, guidelines for the prevention or reduction of ciguatera poisoning, and hygiene control measures in traditional markets for food.

Standards adopted by Codex have wide implications as they are used throughout international trade negotiations as the baseline for text. This is why it is vital for standards adopted to be based on science. NPPC works closely with food and agriculture groups in several countries to gather consensus to support the work of the Codex commission, which, through its guidelines and standards on protecting consumer health, helps ensure food being traded is safe for consumers.

This is the most important Codex meeting of the year, as the entire body gathers to move forward standards, based on the committee meetings throughout the year, which Drs. Carr and Johnson participated. Codex provides the U.S. pork industry an opportunity to speak up about standards impacting the safety of our food, food production, and international trade on a global platform.

Can we modify this section on why being at Codex is so important that we sent two individuals to Rome?

Needs to be worded in a way that producers can read it quickly and say “got it, that’s a big deal glad we were there” I don’t get that from this section now.