Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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Food Law News - FAO / WHO / WTO / Codex - 2019

Codex News Item, 25 February 2019

OILS AND FATS – Codex: Experts meet to discuss fats and oils in Malaysia

Members and Observers of the Codex Alimentarius Commission are meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malyasia from 25 February to 1 March 2019 at the 26th session of the Codex Fats and Oils Committee. Discussions taking place include the addition of palm oil to the Codex Standard for Named Vegetable Oils; a proposed revision of the Standard for Olive Oils and Olive Pomace Oils; discussions on walnut oil, almond oil, hazelnut oil, pistachio oil, flaxseed oil and avocado oil, as well as alignment of food additives in standards for some fats and oils.

According to FAOSTAT the world export value of fats and oils in 2016 was approximately USD 90 billion and over the last ten years this value has almost doubled.

Welcoming delegates and opening the meeting, Dr. Dzulkefly Bin Ahmad, Minister of Health, Malaysia noted the challenges facing the committee in establishing new standards. “With increased health awareness of consumers worldwide, there has been increased demand for healthier oils”, he said. The committee brings together diverse expertise and talent from around the world, representing the various needs of different countries, “without compromising the common goal of protecting consumer health and ensuring fair practices in food trade”, he said.

The Minister also announced that the Malaysian government will elevate the Food Safety and Quality Division in the Ministry of Health to become the Food Safety Authority Malaysia.

Oils of animal, vegetable and marine origin are important foods and food ingredients traded worldwide. “The aspects of safety, quality and authenticity of fats and oils are of immense importance to all parties along the fats and oils supply chain, from farm to table around the world”, said Purwiyatno Hariyadi, Vice Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Revisions on Codex standards are expected to help consumers, suppliers, retailers and regulators, to assure the quality and safety of these important products.

Codex contributes directly to the Sustainable Development Goals regarding zero hunger (SDG2), good health and well-being (SDG3), responsible consumption and production (SDG12) and is a leading example of partnerships for the goals (SDG17). “Protecting consumer health and ensuring fair practices in the food trade are an important contribution to achieving these goals”, said Hariyadi.

A drop of oil. a tonne of value

The opening of the meeting also saw the launch of a publication exploring the work of the committee. This publication, “A drop of oil, a tonne of value” examines how the committee operates and the role Malaysia has played since taking over leadership from the UK in 2009. With contributions from producing nations, traders, members and observers, the publication offers an insight into fats and oils and what takes place inside an international standard setting body to ensure safe food and a level playing field for trade.

A drop of oil, a tonne of value:  Codex Committee on Fats and Oil

A copy of this publication is available on this site (click on image).

To go to main Foodlaw-Reading Index page, click here.