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Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC)

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • India unanimously elected as a member representing the Asian region in the Executive Committee of Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC).
  • The election occurred during the 46th meeting held at Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Headquarters in Rome.


Role of Executive Committee

  • An important arm of CAC, the Executive Committee plays a crucial role in managing the Commission’s standards development program.
  • It conducts a “critical review” of proposals for standards development and monitor progress.
  • India’s membership in the Executive Committee enables significant contributions to international standard-setting for various food product categories; and involvement in decision-making processes related to Codex standards development.


Global Standards for Millets

  • India’s proposal to establish global standards for millets endorsed by CAC. India’s proposal coincides with the celebration of the International Year of Millets, aimed at raising awareness about the nutritional and health benefits of millets.
  • Millet standards cover Finger millet, Barnyard millet, Kodo millet, Proso millet, and Little millet as group standards.
  • FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) has set group standards for millets, specifying quality parameters such as moisture content, uric acid content, etc., for 15 types of millets.
Millets are small-grained, warm-weather cereals known as nutri-cereals for providing essential nutrients.


About Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC)

  • Established in 1963, CAC is an international food standards body jointly founded by World Health Organisation (WHO) and FAO.
  • Headquartered in Rome with 189 members, including India.
  • Objective: Protect consumer health and ensure fair practices in food trade.
  • Codex Alimentarius (Food Code): It is a collection of standards, guidelines, and codes of practice adopted by CAC.
  • Standards are voluntary, and the agreement on Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) of WTO recognizes Codex standards for international trade and dispute settlement.


·       International Standard-Setting Organizations Recognized by WTO’s SPS (Kown as ‘three sisters’):

·       Food Safety: CODEX

·       Plant Health: International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)

·       Animal Health: World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH)


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