The Codex Alimentarius Commission is funded and managed by two United Nations organizations: the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The Commission brings together scientists, technical experts, government regulators, and consumer and industry organizations to develop international food standards designed to protect public health and ensure fair trade practices. Many nations have adopted the Codex standards as their own or have based national regulations on them, so they play an important role in the growth of U.S. dairy exports.
For nearly 25 years, IDFA has successfully
promoted the interests of U.S. dairy companies and ensured the safety of dairy
products sold around the world by participating in the Codex standards
development process. In 2019, IDFA’s advocacy on several priority issues proved
effective once again.
The Codex Commission met in Geneva,
Switzerland, in July 2019, and John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory
affairs and international standards, led the International Dairy Federation
(IDF) delegation’s efforts on three key priorities.
in dairy. The Commission accepted a proposal, promoted by IDFA, to allow
certain stabilizers in unflavored fortified milks. The additives keep added
vitamins and minerals in the milk, maintaining product quality and nutritional
Science-based principles. IDFA
was instrumental in ensuring that science-based principles for setting
standards remain intact. The Commission said non-scientific factors, such as
environmental impact or animal care, would not be considered when setting standards.
Follow-up formula standard. The Commission
accepted labeling provisions in the draft revised Codex Standard for Follow-up
Formula for older infants but did not endorse a general prohibition on using
“cross promotion.” IDFA advocated against the term “cross promotion” because it’s
not defined in Codex, and it could cause regulatory inconsistencies and create trade
has also advocated for science-based approaches to labeling.
No to nutrient profiling.
The committee considered proposed guidelines for front-of-package labeling with
a nutrient-profiling system, but IDFA advocated for science-based guidelines
that align with the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The nutrient
profiling would have a negative impact on dairy exports, giving undue emphasis
to levels of sugar, saturated fat and sodium. As a result of IDFA’s advocacy,
the committee assigned a working group to consider new labeling schemes before the
next meeting in the fall of 2020.
addition, IDFA continues to work with coalitions and meet with government
officials to ensure that anti-dairy policies held by the World Health
Organization are not incorporated into Codex standards. IDFA advocates for
increased transparency in WHO policy-development processes and for guidance
based on scientific evidence.
For more information, contact John Allan, IDFA vice president, regulatory affairs and international standards, at email@example.com.