Food safety

Food Safety News No 5


Food Safety News
No 5 – 3 March 2003

Issued by the Food Safety Department
World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/foodsafety
foodsafety@who.int

In this issue:

  • Extraordinary Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission
  • Launch of the FAO/WHO Trust Fund for Participation in Codex
  • Vacancy announcement for position of Secretary, Codex Alimentarius Commission
  • World Health Day 2003 - 7 April 2003 - including Food Safety
  • Biotech Mega Study Revised Time line

Extraordinary Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission:
Evaluation of the Codex Alimentarius and FAO/WHO Trust Fund for Enhanced Participation in Codex

The Extraordinary Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, held in Geneva on 13-15 February 2003, had on its agenda the report of the evaluation of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme and a progress report on the elaboration of the Codex Trust Fund. The Commission in general welcomed the evaluation and supported the trust of the recommendations. The Commission agreed upon a statement on the outcome of the evaluation. This statement will be submitted to the Governing Bodies of WHO (May 2003) and FAO (October 2003) for further consideration.

The Commission noted the progress made by the two parent organizations on the further elaboration of the Codex Trust Fund. It stressed the need to refine the criteria for selection of eligible countries. It noted that in view of potential conflict of interest at this stage no donations will be accepted nor sought from private institutions pending review of internal guidelines on co-operation with the private sector. In future, financial contributions could be received from certain parts of the private sector institutions not constituting a conflict of interest in the light of these guidelines.

Report of the Extraordinary Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission is available at: http://www.codexalimentarius.net

Report of the Evaluation of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme is available at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/codex/en/codex_eval_report_en.pdf

Contact: Wim van Eck, Chairman of the FAO/WHO Consultative Group for the Trust Fund (Tel: +41 22 791 3582; E-mail: vaneckw@who.int)

Launch of the FAO/WHO Trust Fund for Participation in Codex

The Trust Fund was launched on 14 February 2003 by Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of WHO, and Dr Jacques Diouf, Director-General of FAO, at a ceremony organized during the 25 th (extraordinary) session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The Fund is seeking US$40 million over a 12-year period to help developing countries and countries in transition to increase their participation in the vital work of the Commission. Further information is available at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/codex/trustfund/en/

Applications for funding
As it will not be possible to take any final decisions on beneficiaries until after the meeting of the Commission in July 2003, the Consultative Group is trying to ensure that all potentially eligible countries will have an equal opportunity to apply as soon as possible without pre-empting decisions on criteria. Please refer to the more detailed note at http://www.who.int/foodsafety/codex/trustfund/en/

Contact: Mary Vallanjon, Secretary to the FAO/WHO Consultative Group for the Trust Fund; tel: +41 22 791 2373; email: vallanjonm@who.int

Vacancy announcement for position of Secretary, Codex Alimentarius Commission

WHO and FAO request applications from qualified persons for the post of Secretary, Codex Alimentarius Commission (position at Director's level). Application deadline is 12 March 2003. For more information: http://www.who.int/employment/en/

World Health Day 2003 - 7 April 2003 - including Food Safety

This year's World Health Day is dedicated to the theme "Healthy Environments for Children". Food Safety is included as one of the topics. Each individual event - on and around the World Health Day - serve as a springboard for raising awareness, stimulating debate, and building the momentum for national movements that tackle health risks in the places where children live, learn and play. For more information: http://www.who.int/world-health-day/2003/en

Educational Material in Food Safety for the World Health Day: The Food Safety Department has developed an educational poster "Five Keys to Safer Food" (http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/consumer/5keys/en/) to increase food safety knowledge and practices among consumers. To obtain copies of the poster in English and French or to obtain information regarding WHO requirements for translation, adaptation and reproduction, send an e.mail to foodsafety@who.int

Biotech Mega Study Revised Time line

The 2nd draft of the WHO summary report "Modern food biotechnology, human health and development: An evidence based study" is still available for comments. This draft report, accessible through the internet by password only, has been open for an interactive discussion since 6 January 2003. The closing date for comments has now been extended until 31 March 2003 to allow greater participation from interested parties. Anyone interested in gaining access to the discussion forum may send an e-mail to: biotechquest@who.int. We encourage you to register and also invite other interested persons to register.

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