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Codex News, 18 September 2016
There are six Codex regions each represented by a joint FAO/WHO Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC).They meet every two years. Each committee is responsible for defining the problems and needs of the region concerning food standards and food control. By working collectively at the regional level countries are able to highlight regulatory issues and problems arising from food control in order to strengthen food control infrastructures.
The first RCC meeting begins on September 19 in Vanuatu.
The regions can recommend to the Commission the development of global standards for products of interest to the region, including products considered by the Committee to have an international market potential in the future. Regions can also develops regional standards for food products moving exclusively or almost exclusively within a particular region.
Regional committees can draw the attention of the Commission to any aspects of the Commission's work of particular significance to the region and promote coordination of all regional food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non-governmental organizations within the region.
Coordination and implementation of Codex standards
These committees play a general coordinating role for the region and respond to requests by the Commission. They also work to promote the acceptance of Codex standards and maximum limits for residues by member countries.
New Initiatives for 2016-2017
New features for the regional meetings this year include:
FAO and WHO
The Codex parent organisations oversee the coordinating committees. Dr Renata Clarke, Head of the FAO Food Safety and Quality Unit in the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department said: "These meetings serve to inform the Codex agenda, inform FAO and WHO’s capacity development focus and strengthen networks and collaboration regionally. We have under-utilized this opportunity in the past and we are seeking to correct this."
Dr Kazuaki Miyagishima, Director of the Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses in WHO highlighted another opportunity the regional meetings present: "Codex's global standard setting efforts should not compete with but should be supported by the deepening of regional cooperation. RCCs are the ideal forum to achieve this."
Schedule of meetings