This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, and to commemorate this milestone FSSAI, in association with FICCI, organised a seminar on India celebrates the 60th year of Codex on October 27 in Delhi.
“The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) is an international organisation set jointly by FAO and WHO in the year 1963 to protect consumer health and promote fair practises in food trade. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is the National Codex Contact Point for India,” according to a press release by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
The event witnessed the presence of some of the eminent names, which included Sudhansh Pant, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Chairperson, FSSAI; G Kamala Vardhana Rao, CEO, FSSAI; and Raj Rajasekar, Vice Chairperson, CAC.
During the opening remarks, the individuals emphasised Codex’s pivotal role in fortifying food safety policies on a global scale and fostering trade through the harmonisation of international food standards.
Addressing the participants, Sudhansh Pant, Secretary, MoHFW and Chairperson, FSSAI, congratulated Codex for its exemplary contributions in the last six decades and stressed the need for a science-based framework and that active participation from developing nations cannot be overlooked.
He urged for a science-based framework and active involvement from developing nations.
He stressed the necessity of adapting to new challenges and technologies, asserting, “Collaboration and ongoing participation in Codex activities are essential to ensuring food safety remains at the forefront.”
Pant assured that the Indian government is “fully cognizant of the need to bring food regulations in line with modern times”, and a new Food Safety Bill (amendment to the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006) is almost ready. He added, “Efforts are underway to table it in the upcoming Parliament session.”
“In a keynote address during the inaugural session, G Kamala Vardhana Rao, CEO, FSSAI, addressed the pressing issues surrounding changing food habits and the emerging challenges associated with cutting-edge food innovations,” as per the release.
He underscored the importance of establishing real standards and ensuring the delivery of safe food to the public, stating that it is “imperative for the scientific community.”
He further emphasised the importance of CAC in assuring the same.
“In alignment with the commitment to global food safety, Raj Rajasekar, Vice Chairperson of the CAC, highlighted the remarkable expansion of Codex, from its origins as a small group of developed countries to a robust organisation with 188 member countries and one-member organisation,” as per the release.
He emphasised that food safety is integrated into every organisation and government, emphasising its paramount significance.
“Rajasekar also commended FSSAI’s democratic process in shaping food safety norms and the pivotal role of multi-stakeholder participation, including industry and civil society, in crafting food safety regulations,” the release stated.
He also addressed emerging concerns, such as the entry of microplastics into the human bloodstream, citing a study from the Netherlands. He concluded by emphasising the urgency of innovating alternative technologies for food packaging.
The inaugural session paved the way for two illuminating panel discussions on the future of Codex and the imperative to enhance capacity for greater Codex participation in the coming decade.
“India’s burgeoning engagement in Codex activities was recognised, with notable achievements such as hosting the Codex committee on spices and culinary herbs, co-hosting various sessions on food hygiene and contaminants, and chairing and co-chairing working groups within the Codex system,” the release stated (ANI)