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Codex alimentarius: Volume 1A: General requirements



Codex alimentarius: Volume 1A: General requirements



Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, World Health Organization, Rome, 1995: 1-245



The Codex Alimentarius Commission was established to implement the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme, the purpose of which is, as set down in the Statutes of the Commission, to protect the health of consumers and to ensure fair practices in the food trade; to promote coordination of all food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non-governmental organizations; to determine priorities and initiate and guide the preparation of draft standards through and with the aid of appropriate organizations; to finalize standards, and, after acceptance by governments, publish them in a Codex Alimentarius either as regional or world-wide standards. The Statutes of the Codex Alimentarius Commission have been approved by the Governing bodies of the FAO and WHO. The Commission is a subsidiary body of these two parent Organizations. The Statutes and Rules of the Commission are to be found in the Procedural Manual of the Commission. The Codex Alimentarius is a collection of internationally adopted food standards presented in a uniform manner. These food standards aim at protecting consumers' health and ensuring fair practices in the food trade. The Codex Alimentarius also includes provisions of an advisory nature in the form of codes of practice, guidelines and other recommended measures to assist in achieving the purposes of the Codex Alimentarius. The publication of the Codex Alimentarius is intended to guide and promote the elaboration and establishment of definitions and requirements for foods, to assist in their harmonization and, in doing so, to facilitate international trade. The Codex Alimentarius includes standards for all the principal foods, whether processed, semi-processed or raw, for distribution to the consumer. Materials for further processing into foods are included to the extent necessary to achieve the purposes of the Codex Alimentarius as defined. The Codex Alimentarius includes provisions in respect of the hygienic and nutritional quality of food, including microbiological norms, provisions for food additives, pesticide residues, contaminants, labelling and presentation, and methods of analysis and sampling. It also includes provisions of an advisory nature in the form of codes of practice, guidelines and other recommended measures. Codex standards contain requirements for food aimed at ensuring for the consumer a sound, wholesome food product free from adulteration, correctly labelled and presented. The standards and maximum residue limits adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission are intended for formal acceptance by governments in accordance with its General Principles. The standards and maximum limits for residues of pesticides and veterinary drugs in foods and feeds, accompanied by an appropriate communication, are sent for action to Ministries of Agriculture or Ministries of Foreign Affairs, as appropriate, of Member Nations of FAO and to Ministries of Health of Member States of WHO. The standards and maximum limits for pesticide residues and veterinary drugs, accompanied by the communication referred to, are also sent to national Codex Contact Points, FAO and WHO Regional Offices, FAO Representatives, Embassies in Rome and Permanent Missions to the UN in Geneva. The standards and maximum limits for residues of pesticides and veterinary drugs in foods and feeds, which have taken a number of years to develop, are the product of a wide measure of international agreement and cooperation. They are compatible with the norms considered by FAO and WHO as best guaranteeing the protection of the health of consumers and the facilitation of international trade in food. Volume One, General Requirements, of the Codex Alimentarius contains those standards, codes and other texts which are generally applicable to all food commodities, or at least a wide range of them. It consists of two Parts, the first part (Volume 1A) dealing with all matters except food hygiene, the second part (Volume 1B) containing general food hygiene texts. It is the basic reference document for all other volumes in the Codex Alimentarius.

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