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CODEX Norms for Spices

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July 27, 2017

Why in news?

The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) adopted three Codex standards for black, white and green pepper, cumin and thyme.

What is Codex Alimentarius?

  • The Codex Alimentarius or “Food Code” is a collection of standards, guidelines and codes of practice adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
  • The Commission, also known as CAC, is the central part of the joint FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations)/WHO (World Health Organisation) Food Standards Programme.
  • It was established by FAO and WHO to protect consumer health and promote fair practices in food trade.

What are the impacts?

  • It will pave the way for a universal agreement on identifying quality spices in various countries.
  • The CAC cleared these standards at its session held in Geneva.
  • The adoption of Codex standards for the three spices will help to evolve a common standardisation process for their global trade and availability.
  • It will ensure availability of high quality, clean and safe spices to the world.
  • With the adoption of Codex standards, member-nations would now have reference points and benchmarks to align their national standards for spices with Codex.

What is the status in India?

  • The CAC move is considered a crucial endorsement of the India’s initiatives to usher in a common standard across the globe for spices trade.
  • The adoption of Codex standards by CAC must be read in the context of the efforts put in by New Delhi in arriving at a common code for spices trade.
  • India conducted three sessions of Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) at Kochi (2014), Goa (2015) and Chennai (2017).
  • The Chennai session especially succeeded in achieving this consensus.
  • Subsequently, these drafts were placed before the CAC and the member-nations adopted them by consensus.


Source: The Hindu

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