Codex Nutrition Committee proposes new process to deal with nutrition rule variations

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

The Codex Alimentarius Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) opened proceedings on the 26 November in Berlin, Germany. ©WHO/FAO
The Codex Alimentarius Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) opened proceedings on the 26 November in Berlin, Germany. ©WHO/FAO
The Codex Alimentarius Committee on Nutrition are to address the demands of regulating the global trade in nutrition products by developing a prioritisation process to address the excessive workload.

The decision, made by the committee last month, serves to ease the pressure from multiple countries requesting support or clarification of the regulatory frameworks that govern the trade of products such as food supplements.

“With nutrition now arguably the single most important issue globally, it’s little surprise that the Codex Nutrition Committee is seeing an increase in demands on its time and resources,” ​said Simon Pettman, executive director of the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA).

“The resulting workload it currently faces is clearly challenging, and the prioritization process will ensure that the most important matters can be dealt with through to completion.”

IADSA guide

As an aid to address the misalignment of current frameworks between countries, the IADSA has made available a guide​ to help build common understanding globally about the application of Codex measures to food supplements and help in their implementation.

The guide includes guidelines covering vitamin and food mineral supplements, nutrition and health claims, food additives and contaminants in foods.   

“The guide is an efficient, easy to use tool for governments and other groups who want a means to quickly get the information they need about how Codex applies to food supplements,”​ added Pettman.

Around 420 delegates from Member countries and observer organisations attended the meeting, which took place in Berlin, Germany last month.

Meeting agenda

Other topics on the agenda​ included follow-up formula and ready-to-use foods for children affected by severe acute malnutrition.

In addition, a Proposed Draft Definition for Biofortification was put forward as was a series of other matters relating to nutrition labelling and food additives.

A set of harmonised probiotic guidelines for use in foods and dietary supplements was discussed as well as a new item on “bodybuilding foods”.

With the issue of a new prioritisation process raised as a matter of urgency, the Committee agreed to provide further details for discussion at the next meeting, held in Düsseldorf, Germany next year.

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