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Codex Alimentarius Commission, 31st session

Date: 30 June - 4 July 2008
Place: Geneva, Switzerland

The Codex Alimentarius Commission meets annually to discuss and adopt international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice. It deals with all food safety and quality issues covering a wide range of topics such as safe limits for food additives and the risk assessment of genetically modified foods.

The commission was created jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and WHO under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme. Its mandate is to:

  • protect the health of consumers; and
  • ensure fair trade practices in the food trade.

The results of the commission's work form the international food safety standard, Codex Alimentarius (Latin for “food code”). These standards, when introduced into national legislation, contribute to ensure safety of foods.

At the 31st session, the commission will consider for adoption more than 30 texts. One of the texts - the Code of hygienic practice for powdered formulae for infants and young children - aims to protect infants and small children who for any reason cannot be breastfed. The code will set the maximum limits for bacteria in formula and provide guidance on how to produce, distribute and prepare safe powdered formula.

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