International Policy Resources

International Resources

The following science, policy, regulatory, standards-related, and other resources are offered for your awareness and reference.

Codex Update

Deliberations continue although numerous 2020 meetings needed to be cancelled. The work of several electronic working groups (eWGs) of committees was extended, and in some cases renewed invitations to join the eWGs were issued. This allows an opportunity for Codex members and observers who are interested yet not already engaged in the eWGs to join the deliberations. Deadlines for comment opportunities (e.g., responses to Circular Letters) were extended as well. The 43rd Session of the Commission is taking place virtually over the course of several dates (Sept. 24 – 26 and Oct. 12 and 19, with report adoption in November. IFT continues its involvement in Codex and will provide updates in the next IFT Codex Alimentarius Newsletter, following the conclusion of the Commission meeting.

The Codex Alimentarius is the international organization created by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) to develop food standards, guidelines and other texts under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in food trade. As a nongovernmental organization with observer status IFT participates in meetings of select Codex committees and task forces.

Codex Meeting Reports

IFT Codex Alimentarius Newsletters (Members Only, Login Required)
This newsletter will be your resource for staying up to date on Codex developments, primarily those of the Commission, its subsidiary bodies in which IFT is involved, and related news and resources of FAO and WHO.

As the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations, the World Health Organization provides leadership on global health matters, shapes the health research agenda, sets norms and standards, articulates evidence-based policy options, provides technical support to countries, and monitors and assesses health trends.

Resources:

Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) is an international expert scientific committee administered jointly by FAO and WHO. JECFA serves as an independent scientific committee which performs risk assessments on food additives, contaminants, naturally occurring toxicants and residues of veterinary drugs in food and provides advice for the CAC and its committees.

JECFA Meeting Report

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is a scientific risk assessment body of the European Union, providing scientific advice on food and feed safety, nutrition, animal health, plant protection, and plant health. Select reports are provided below.

Editorials

Guidance Documents

News Stories

Reasoned Opinions

Scientific Opinions

Scientific Reports

Statements

Technical Reports

The Food Chemicals Codex (FFC) is a compendium of internationally recognized standards for the authenticity, purity and identity of food ingredients. The compendium features about 1,100 monographs, including food-grade chemicals, processing aids, foods, flavoring agents, vitamins, and functional food ingredients, as well as information on topics such as adulteration, analytical methods and more.

The FCC plays a key role in safeguarding commerce and public health by providing essential criteria and analytical methods to authenticate and determine the quality of food ingredients. FCC standards are beneficial to all stakeholders in the food industry as agreed standards between suppliers and manufacturers aid in distinguishing genuine products from inferior or adulterated ingredients and substances, thereby helping to make the food supply chain safer and assuring consumers of the quality of the food products they consume. 

FCC Resources

The IFT Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC) convenes industry sector stakeholders to facilitate pre-competitive processes which promulgate standards, especially for upstream segments of the food value chain. For more information, visit the GFTC standards and protocols page.
GS1 is a standards body that develops and maintains business communication standards and protocols pertinent to food logistics and traceability. GS1 promulgates standards such as barcodes, communication formats (e.g., EPCIS), and logistics networks (e.g., the Global Data Synchronization Network). GS1 standards have broad usage in the food industry worldwide, especially for consumer-packaged goods, fresh products, meat and poultry, and food service.
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) was established by the Consumer Goods Forum to benchmark food safety standards worldwide. The GFSI scope encompasses food supply chain safety from production/source to consumption. GFSI seeks to reduce food safety risks through standardization, manage costs in the global food system, develop capacity and competency across global food systems, and provide an international platform for knowledge exchange.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) develops and publishes international standards relating to topics, including food ingredients, food safety and quality, and nanotechnology, through a network of national member standards institutes of 162 countries.

ISO Resources:

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) is an international organization that works to build better policies for better lives. Its goal is to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity, and well-being for all. Together with governments, policy makers, and citizens, the OECD works on establishing international norms.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CIFA) highest priority is mitigating risks to food safety, with the health and safety of Canadians the driving force behind the design and development of its programs. In collaboration and partnership with industry, consumers, and federal, provincial, and municipal organizations, CFIA works towards protecting Canadians from preventable health risks related to food and zoonotic diseases. 

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FANZ)

The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is a statutory authority in the Australian Government Health Portfolio. FSANZ develops food standards for Australia and New Zealand.

Health Canada

Health Canada is responsible for helping Canadians maintain and improve their health, ensuring that high-quality health services are accessible, and working to reduce health risks.

U.K. Foods Standards Agency

The U.K. Food Standards Agency is an independent government department working across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland to protect public health and consumers’ wider interests in food.

Latest News right arrow

Diverse skill sets needed for growing opportunities

To understand where the future of work in the science of food is headed, it’s necessary to first look at how the industry has changed, explained the panelists at an IFT Careers InFocus virtual event session titled “The Future of Work.”

Preparing for a new work paradigm

Speaking at IFT’s recent Careers InFocus virtual event and career fair, Andrew Yang, the founder of Venture for America and former U.S. presidential candidate, shared his perspective on the massive changes that are affecting the way we work.

No quick fix for employment inequities

Employment inequities related to gender and race are real, and correcting them must be a priority, but it isn’t going to happen overnight, said panelists at an IFT Careers InFocus virtual event session.

National Honey Board seeks honey–food pairings to encourage consumption of Mediterranean diet

The National Honey Board (NHB) is currently accepting pre-proposals for honey food-pairings to help Americans consume a Mediterranean diet pattern. Interested researchers need to submit a short pre-proposal by November 13, 2020.

FDA amends its procedures for dairy, infant formula firms exporting to China

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing changes to its export listing procedures for dairy and infant formula firms seeking to export their products to China.

Latest From IFTNEXT right arrow

New rapid tests for botulinum toxin

In the food industry, botulinum toxin is associated with a severe form of food poisoning caused by improperly preserved food. Researchers have developed a technology that addresses the role of botulinum toxin in both food and cosmetic applications.

New appliance refrigerates, stores, and cooks meals

Before the emergence of COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders, one of the biggest complaints of busy individuals was not having time to prepare and cook balanced meals. A new appliance shows promise in solving that problem—for those who can afford it.

Identifying chocolate using its ‘fingerprints’

Researchers from Towson University developed a method for determining where a particular chocolate was produced using its chemical “fingerprint,” with the hopes that it could one day be used to trace the chocolate back to the farm that grew the beans.

Interrupting the reproductive cycle for Aspergillus

For as long as humans have been growing food crops, pests and pathogens have been attacking them. For one fungal pathogen, scientists in the United Kingdom have figured out a way to use its own biology to prevent it from destroying crops.

Subscribe to The Weekly

Get the latest developments in food industry, policy and regulation, research, and more sent to your in-box every Wednesday.

Subscribe