With more than 60% of the world adapting, developing or reviewing food supplement regulation, the Standards and Guidelines from Codex Alimentarius have become key common reference points for regulators worldwide, according to the Brussels, Belgium-based International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA).
Codex Alimentarius was created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and is responsible for establishing international standards in the food area. It has developed over 300 standards and other advisory texts, many of which have been incorporated into national laws or have influenced the development of regional legislation.
This week Codex celebrates its 50th anniversary, and its significant impact on the global arena for food supplement regulation has been a point of focus for IADSA director of regulatory affairs, David Pineda Ereño. Mr. Ereño explained, “Because of the harmonization processes taking place in the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as the number of regulations under review or development at national levels across the world, regulatory focus at Codex level is on many common issues. What we see in Codex adopted as Standards and Guidelines we will see in other countries in the next few years; some directly adopted, others with amendments.”
He further cited the trend of many countries moving toward safety based levels rather than Recommended Daily Allowances, thus “following Codex’s adoption of the scientific risk assessment principle and the specific steps for setting maximum levels. ” He added, “Additionally, if there is a problem at WTO level, the Codex guidelines are used as a reference point.”
Mr. Ereño further stated, “The Codex General Standard for Food Additives… is a key reference point worldwide. Food additives are used internationally in different types of food products. Since 2005 IADSA has been active in supporting Codex by providing scientific and technical data to help support its decisions towards the inclusion of key additives in the General Standard.”