General information about the Codex Alimentarius
What is the implication of the Codex Standards in the era of globalization?
In 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established to implement the trade agreements negotiated under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). In order to prevent the use of unjustified health and safety requirements as non-tariff barriers to trade, WTO Member States adopted the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement Agreement (SPS).
The SPS Agreement requires inter alia that regulatory measures for food safety must be based on sound scientific risk assessment. Furthermore, countries which have adopted Codex Standards are considered as being in compliance with the requirements of the SPS Agreement.
Consequently, Codex Standards have become the de facto international standards for food moving in international commerce and, to a great extent, a benchmark for national food safety legislation.
It should be noted that from the developing countries' viewpoint, compliance with the Codex Standards means more care in assuring the safety of their food exports, but at the same time, improved access to export markets, especially those in developed countries.