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 more than 300 standards and other advisory texts, many of which have been incorporated into national laws or have influenced the development of regional legislation.
July marked the 50th anniversary of the Codex’s creation, 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. “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 the Codex level is on many common issues,” he said. “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.”
As the Codex’s influence expands, the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) continues to provide new guidance to those in the dietary supplement arena. CAC recently adopted Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) supported by IADSA for 11 nutrients to be included in the Codex Guidelines on Nutrition Labeling. At its meeting in Rome in July, the CAC—the highest decision-making body in Codex—adopted values for labeling purposes for vitamins K (60 mcg), B6 (1.3 mg) and B12 (2.4 mcg), biotin (30 mcg), folate (400 mcg), niacin (15 mg), pantothenate (5 mg), riboflavin (1.2 mg), thiamin (1.2 mg) and the minerals calcium (1,000 mg) and iodine (150 mcg).
To provide a focus on the critical process of the implementation of Codex Standards and Guidelines in the food supplement area, IADSA held an Expert Workshop in New Delhi, India. The workshop, which was co-organized by India’s food supplement trade association Health Foods And Dietary Supplements Association (HADSA) gave those involved in the development of national regulation in the food supplement, nutraceutical and functional food areas an overview of Codex standards in this sector, how they interrelate and how regulators across the world have interpreted and used them to guide the development of national and regional laws.