Why is it in the news?
- The 7th session of Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) took place in Kochi, India.
More about the news
- During this session, quality standards for five spices were finalized, namely small cardamom, turmeric, juniper berry, allspice, and star anise.
- These standards were then forwarded to the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) for adoption as full-fledged Codex standards.
- Notably, this session marked the successful implementation of the strategy of grouping spices, a significant achievement for CCSCH.
· CCSCH was established as one of the Commodity Committees under the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) in 2013.
· India has been hosting CCSCH since its establishment, and the Spices Board India, operating under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, serves as the Secretariat organization.
· The term of reference for CCSCH includes elaborating worldwide standards for spices and culinary herbs in their dried and dehydrated state and consulting with international organizations to avoid duplication.
· Codex standards encompass various international food texts, such as standards, codes of practice, codes of hygienic practice, guidelines, and other recommendations.
· These standards are voluntary and do not have a binding effect on national food legislation.
· However, they serve as essential reference points for countries to develop their own food regulations, ensuring safety, quality, and fairness in food trade.
Codex and WTO
· The WTO Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) and on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) encourage WTO members to harmonize their national regulations with international standards.
· This harmonization helps facilitate international trade by reducing barriers and promoting consistency in food safety and quality regulations.
Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC)
· CAC was established jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1963.
· Its objective is to protect consumer health and ensure fair practices in food trade.
· CAC conducts its work through various Codex committees, including CCSCH, hosted by different member countries.
· India has been a member of CAC since 1964, actively participating in its activities and contributing to the development of international food standards.