The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) created the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 1963 to develop food standards, guidelines and related texts such as codes of practice under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme. The Programme seeks to protect the health of the consumers, to ensure fair trade practices in the food trade and to promote coordination of all food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non-governmental organizations.
The Codex Alimentarius, or the food code, has become the global reference point for consumers, food producers and processors, national food control agencies and the international food trade. The code has had an enormous impact on the thinking of food producers and processors as well as on the awareness of the end users-the consumers. Its influence extends to every continent and its contribution to protecting public health and fair practices in the food trade is immeasurable.
In its efforts to maintain a healthy food supply for Canadians, Health Canada supports Codex. The Codex Alimentarius system presents a unique opportunity for all countries to join the international community in formulating and harmonizing food standards and ensuring their global implementation. It also allows them a role in the development of codes governing hygienic processing practices and recommendations relating to compliance with those standards.
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