The Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED; Salt Lake City, UT) confirmed this week that the Codex Alimentarius Commission has finally adopted a fish oil standard. Nutritional Outlook reported back in March that the fish oil standard was making its way to the Codex Alimentarius Commission for possible adoption this July.
This standard is the first Codex Alimentarius standard for fish oil as well as krill oil. Codex Alimentarius standards are not mandatory regulation, but some countries adopt Codex standards as their own standards. Prior to arriving at a finished standard, the Codex Committee on Fats and Oils (CCFO), which developed the standard, worked for years to gather and to take into account the comments, criticisms, and concerns of various countries. Countries like Chile continue to have concerns about how fatty acid profiles are established because the standard uses these fatty acids to determine an oil’s identity. The concern is that fatty acid profiles can in fact change over time—for instance, due to environmental conditions—but that making future changes to the Codex standard to reflect these changes will take a long time, during which time companies may suffer an economic impact. In addition, the Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL) must still review the standard’s labeling portion, GOED reports.
The Codex Alimentarius Commission is part of the FAO/WHO that develops international food standards.