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. And, it has been determined that the 43rd Session of the Commission will be able to take place virtually, Sept. 24 – 26 and Oct. 12, with report adoption on Oct. 19. 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

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.

U.S. foodservice industry set to rebound to pre-pandemic levels by 2023

The latest research from Mintel shows that after several years of growth, the foodservice industry is expected to decline by up to 30% from 2019 to 2020, following nationwide dine-in bans/restrictions, restaurant closures, job losses, and lowered consumer confidence.

FDA gives $1.5 million to support FSMA education, training, and technical assistance

The FDA is announcing $1.5 million of continued funding, in the form of cooperative agreements, to the University of Arkansas Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative and the National Farmers Union to enhance food safety under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

COVID-19’s impact on lifestyles and eating behaviors in Asia

According to Innova Market Insights’ COVID-19 Consumer Survey (conducted in March 2020), in China, India, and Indonesia, personal concerns center on health, personal income, and the availability of healthcare and products to buy.

Commercially available cell line rapidly detects African Swine Fever Virus

Scientists from the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have identified a new way to detect the presence of live African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) that minimizes the need for samples from live animals and provides easier access to veterinary labs that need to diagnose the virus.

Latest From IFTNEXT right arrow

Enzyme technology enables efficient PET recycling

France-based Carbios is developing the first biological technology to transform the end-of-life of plastics, says Martin Stephan, deputy CEO of Carbios.

A new approach to reducing salt while maintaining taste

The dangers of a high-sodium diet have been well documented, but a new technology devised by scientists from Washington State University could help reduce sodium in processed foods while retaining taste and texture.

Sucralose–carbohydrate combo may affect insulin sensitivity

A study found that people who drank beverages that contained the low-calorie sweetener sucralose did experience metabolic problems and issues with neural responses but only when the beverage was formulated with both sucralose and a tasteless sugar (maltodextrin).

Manipulating photosynthesis for food security

British scientists have gained new insights into the compound in plants that plays a vital role in the natural process through which plants grow.

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