50th Anniversary of Codex Alimentarius

50 years of international collaboration to ensure safe and nutritious food for everyone - everywhere

WHO and FAO have been working jointly since 1963 through the Codex Alimentarius Commission to protect consumer health and ensure fair practices in food trade. Codex establishes international food safety and nutrition standards, guidelines and best practices. 185 Member States participate in the Codex process and in order to ensure that Codex standards are truly global, the Codex Trust Fund was established in 2003 to support the effective participation of developing and transition-economy countries.

Since 2005, Codex, in particular the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Food for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) and Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL), initiated the work to contribute to the implementation of the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health adopted by the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 2004. One of this effort is the development of nutrient reference values for nutrients associated with risk of noncommunicable diseases (NRVs-NCD) and their incorporation in the Guidelines on Nutrition Labelling in order to address the increasing public health problem of obesity and diet-related NCDs.

Promotion of nutrition labelling for all pre-packaged foods is a proposed policy measure highlighted in the NCD Action Plan 2013 – 2020 which was adopted by the 66th WHA in May 2013 for promoting healthy diet and preventing NCDs. Therefore, the strengthening of the Guidelines on Nutrition Labelling through incorporating measures related to NRVs-NCD will also contribute to the implementation of the NCD Action Plan 2013 – 2020 and ultimately to the achievement of the global targets.

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