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16 December 2022
Food Allergy
- Food Safety

From 21-25 November, EFA participated in the 45th version of the Codex Alimentarius Commission sessions (CAC45), the multilateral annual meeting for worldwide states to discuss food issues. As an observer organisation to Codex, EFA participated online bringing the perspective of people with food allergy.

The sessions vested around issues of great importance for the food allergy patients’ community like the ongoing work of various technical committees, such as the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH), as well as updates on the Codex Strategic Plan 2020-2025 and on matters arising from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Codex often requests the assistance of both FAO and WHO to support the process of developing standards and guidelines that reflect the latest scientific knowledge.

EFA calls to fill the missing pieces in allergen-related scientific advice

Codex has turned to FAO/WHO for advice also on allergen-related issues focusing on three specific aspects:

  • the review of the priority allergen list of the General Standard for the Labelling of Prepacked Food (GSLPF) – More information on EFA’s work here
  • the establishment of threshold levels for the priority allergens; and
  • the evaluation of evidence on the Precautionary Allergen Labelling (PAL).

For each of these aspects, FAO/WHO experts are entrusted to deliberate and develop a report with conclusions and recommendations. At the time of the CAC45 meeting, FAO/WHO had provided only their assessment on the review of the priority allergens lists.

Bringing the voice of food allergy patients in Europe, EFA’s representative at Codex and EFA’s Vice-President Marcia Podestà participated in the sessions with a statement urging this work to move forward and well in advance of the next meeting of the Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL), which is foreseen for May 2023.

Moreover, we encouraged FAO/WHO to keep up their vigilance on potential food labelling emergency measures taken due to the war in Ukraine, and the disruptions they might imply on food production and labelling.

You can read the full EFA statement at CAC45 here.