The IPA proposal was raised on December 6th at the 39th session of the of the CCNFSDU (Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses) meeting in Berlin, which was attended by government representatives, observers and experts from 66 Member States and 41 international organizations.
According to the draft report from the meeting [paragraphs 145-148], Argentina expressed its support of the proposal and will lead this work. “The Committee agreed that Argentina would prepare a discussion paper together with a project document for consideration at its next session [which will take place in Berlin, Germany from 26-30 November, 2018],” stated the report. An electronic working group of interested countries could be established at the next meeting to move this forward.
George Paraskevakos, IPA’s executive director, said: “The IPA delegation was successful in achieving a positive reaction and support to this proposal from many national delegations, thereby securing the initiation of this new work on probiotics.
“IPA considers that the development of guidelines and a harmonized framework for probiotics is necessary to ensure and sustain quality probiotic products on a global scale.”
Paraskevakos noted that, given Codex’s adherence to protocol, the IPA expects this work will be long term, but the organization considers it as being an essential part of the process for the harmonization of the probiotic framework. It will also provide essential requirements and specifications for probiotics.
The process may eventually lead to the development of a Codex definition, said IPA, as well as the possible progression into a Standard at the Codex level.
Currently, the accepted and respected definition for probiotics was established by an FAO / WHO expert panel in 2001/2002. However, it only provides a very general guidance for the recognition of the health benefit and consumer demand for probiotic foods, in a world where a global regulatory landscape is not harmonized.
“Due to the technological and scientific advances within the probiotic industry since the FAO / WHO work, we are now at a crossroads and a broader scope is required to include these advancements into new guidelines,” said the IPA in a statement.
To read the full IPA proposal that was presented to the CCNFSDU meeting, please click here.