Codex precautionary principle inclusion thwarted

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Risk, Food, European commission

The International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations
(IADSA) has revealed that latest attempts to insert the
precautionary principle into Codex's draft risk analysis standards
for food safety have been foiled.

The news marks the third unsuccessful attempt by the EU and other countries to include the principle in key Codex documents, and could represent that last hurdle for adoption without the inclusion of the precautionary principle. David Pineda, IADSA's manager of regulatory affairs, told NutraIngredients.com: "We are very happy with the outcome of this week. This new decision by the committee means there are fewer possibilities to introduce the precautionary principle [into the Codex framework]."​ The precautionary principle allows governments to take certain preventive measures for foods in cases where scientific evidence on the safety of the food is uncertain, and many governments and other organizations believe that it is used to create unjustified trade barriers. "The new document just accepted by the committee appropriately follows an earlier one by excluding the precautionary principle, an action needed to help assure fair opportunities for trade in supplement products,"​ said Dr John Hathcock VP of scientific and international affairs of the Council Responsible Nutrition (CRN USA). The full Codex Committee of General Principles (CCGP) in Paris this week debated the new draft and, after rallying of both government and non-governmental organisations - notably the US Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN USA) - agreed to omit the precautionary principle. To enter the Codex framework, the Commission must adopt the Committee's draft. Pineda said that whether or not the Commission accepts the document as a Step 5 [document up for revision] or Step 8 [accepted document], this week's decision means there are less possibilities to introduce the precautionary principle. "The introduction of this principle has been consistently rejected since the Codex principles were first drafted. However, the text is at an intermediate stage of the Codex procedure and changes can still be made. There could, therefore, be attempts to include this principle into the text during the next Commission meeting later this year which will have to consider this week's decision of the CCGP,"​ said Pineda.

Related topics: Regulation & Policy, Suppliers

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