Codex Alimentarius Commission Grants U.S. Pharmacopeia “Observer Status”

September 20, 2012

USP will be able to provide information and advice to the Codex Commission in the development of international food standards.

The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP; Rockville, MD) has been granted “observer status” by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, meaning that USP will be able to provide information and advice to the Commission in its development of international food standards.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission was established by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1963. Today, more than 200 intergovernmental and international non-governmental organizations (NGO) are accredited as observers.

“The increasingly globalized food industry; the associated supply chain complexities; consumer interest in new, complex ingredients with purported health and nutritional benefits; economic pressures to keep food costs low-all call for strong international standards,” says USP CEO Roger L. Williams, MD. “USP’s mission and work in the area of food standards align closely with those of the Commission, and we are honored to now serve in an accredited NGO capacity. Food ingredients, which represent a key component of the food supply, are particularly important and remain our focus.”

The USP itself publishes its own internationally used food standards in its Food Chemicals Codex (FCC), for the identity, quality, and purity of food ingredients, including colorings, flavorings, emulsifiers, nutrients, preservatives, and processing aids.