FAO/WHO e-Forum

Implementation of the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health: Role of Codex Alimentarius Committees

What is the Purpose of the e-Forum?

FAO/WHO are preparing to draft an 'actions document' for implementing the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health within the Codex Alimentarius. The 28th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission agreed with a recommendation of the Executive Committee (ALINORM 052841 paragraph 234) that WHO, in cooperation with FAO, produce a focused document on the actions that Codex Alimentarius could take in this area for consideration by the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses and the Codex Committee on Food Labelling.

To help guide the preparation of this document, FAO/WHO are seeking comments and suggestions from interested members and official observers of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The e-Forum is meant to serve this purpose.

FAO/WHO will consider the input received in response to the e-Forum as a component of their work to draft an actions document.

How Does the e-Forum Work?

  • All Codex members and official observers are invited to submit an electronic comment concerning this matter. Comments will be accepted in English, Spanish and French.
  • In order to facilitate the development of comments, FAO/WHO have identified key questions believed by FAO/WHO to be germane to this activity. These questions are listed in a separate section below.
  • Comments are to be forwarded to the following e-mail address: . At the opening of your comment, please identify on behalf of which Codex member or observer the comment is being submitted.
  • This e-Forum will be in operation from 15 February through 1 April, 2006.
  • Comments received will be posted in their original language on this website ( a timely manner. Members and official observers may, as they wish, forward comments in response to the comments from other members or observers (as posted on the website) at any time up until one week after the e-Forum closes.
  • Questions from Codex members and observers concerning the operation of the e-Forum may be forwarded to the e-mail address provided above.
  • FAO/WHO recognize that there are individuals and parties interested in this matter that are not Codex members or official observers. These persons are encouraged to make their views known to the relevant organizations specified for participation in the e-Forum. The e-Forum is not designed for participation by non-Codex members or observers.


Long-term health and the development or prevention of chronic diseases, including obesity, heart disease, cancer and diabetes, is in part determined by nutrition and dietary choices. The WHO Global Strategy/DPAH was developed in response to a request from Member States for guidance on the development actions at individual, community, national and global levels that, when taken together, will lead to an enabling environment that can reduced disease and death rates related to unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.

Only a broad coalition of interested parties will ensure the successful achievement of these health goals. In establishing the needed environment for dietary choices, food regulators and others with related responsibilities who oversee guidelines and standards related to the foods in the international marketplace may have a role to play.

In 2004, the World Health Assembly Resolution 57.17 endorsed the Global Strategy/DPAH and requested the Codex Alimentarius Commission to continue to give full consideration, within the framework of its operational mandate, to the measures which it might take to contribute towards improvement in the health standards of foods consistent with the aims and objectives of the Global Strategy/DPAH.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission was created in 1963 by FAO and WHO to develop food standards, guidelines and related texts such as codes of practice under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme. The main purposes of this Programme are protecting health of the consumers and ensuring fair trade practices in the food trade, and promoting coordination of all food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non-governmental organizations.

These activities often require that the different Codex Committees seek appropriate scientific or other information in order to make their determinations in elaborating standards and related texts. Committees also refer work to each other for further elaboration or for input on issues outside the referring Committee's responsibilities.