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India Advocates for Global Food Standards at Codex Alimentarius Commission

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India played a crucial role in supporting the establishment of global standards for spices and vegetable oils during the 86th session of the Executive Committee (CCEXEC) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). Held at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome from July 1-5, the session focused on reviewing proposals for new standards and monitoring the development of existing ones. The CAC, a joint initiative by the FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to ensure consumer health protection and fairness in food trade.

Represented by G. Kamala Vardhana Rao, CEO of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), India emphasized the importance of advancing standards for spices such as small cardamom, turmeric, and vanilla. As a major producer and exporter of these spices, India’s initiative is aimed at facilitating smoother international trade and ensuring high-quality standards. Rao highlighted that these efforts are particularly significant for India’s economy and its position in the global spice market.

Enhancing Food Safety and Sustainability

Beyond spice standards, India advocated for several key issues during the CCEXEC session. The country pushed for the development of guidelines for named vegetable oils and the control of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli. Furthermore, India endorsed the safe use and reuse of water in food production and processing, as well as the creation of Codex guidance on food safety concerning recycled materials in food packaging. These measures are seen as critical for addressing global challenges related to climate change, environmental protection, and sustainability.

India also shared insights on its Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) guidelines for recycling post-consumer PET for food contact applications. This participation underscores India’s commitment to robust food safety standards and promoting equitable practices in global food trade. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) noted that India’s involvement in the High-level Executive Committee (CCEXEC) underscores its dedication to establishing effective food safety measures and reflects its significant role in the international food industry. Through its proactive stance, India aims to align with global efforts to enhance food safety and trade practices, reinforcing its leadership position in the international food sector.

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