Codex Alimentarius

Patti Rundall (far left), representing the European Network of Childbirth Associations ENCA and Elisabeth Sterken (middle) the IBFAN representative to Codex together with Eva Edwards (far right), the delegate from The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Nigeria.


The Codex Alimentarius (Codex) is the global (standard-setting) body for food products and food commodities and to used to set national regulations for the purpose of global trade in food and food products. Although Codex has a dual mandate to ensure fair trade practices and the protection of human health, in practice the former trade priorities take precedence. Moreover the Codex standards are the benchmarks for the World Trade Organization (WTO) and are used in the case of trade disputes. As a UN agency, Codex is governed by its two parent bodies, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

IBFAN and several public interest organizations, have official Codex observer status and are able to be active participants in the discussions and raise the important health protection measures that must be embedded in the standards.

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Of high priority for IBFAN is the ability of national governments to put into effect the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant WHA resolutions, including the Guidance to Ending the Inappropriate Promotion of Foods for Infants and Young Children and to integrate its labelling provisions into the standards for foods for infants and young children.