Hopes for Codex inclusion of Precautionary Principle dashed

4 April 2007 - Efforts to introduce the precautionary principle into Codex’s draft risk analysis standards for food safety have been thwarted once again, IADSA has revealed.

Observing proceedings at the full Codex Committee of General Principles (CCGP) in Paris on Tuesday April 3, the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA) monitored the debate on the new draft as both government and non-governmental organisations – notably the US Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN USA) – rallied to prevent the introduction of the precautionary principle into the text.

The precautionary principle allows governments to take certain preventive measures for foods in cases where scientific evidence on the safety of the food is uncertain, and many governments and other organizations believe that it is used to create unjustified trade barriers. It’s rejection marks the third unsuccessful attempt by the EU and other countries to include the principle in key Codex documents.

“The new document just accepted by the Committee appropriately follows an earlier one by excluding the precautionary principle, an action needed to help assure fair opportunities for trade in supplement products,” said Dr John Hathcock Vice-President of Scientific and International Affairs of CRN USA.

When the Committee adopted the inclusion of risk analysis principles for food safety into the Codex framework in 2003, the precautionary principle was omitted. A Working Group made up of representatives from government and non-governmental organisations met in October last year to develop the principles for application by member governments, and again resisted efforts by the EU to include the precautionary principle.

David Pineda, IADSA’s Manager of Regulatory Affairs, said: “The introduction of this principle has been consistently rejected since the Codex principles were first drafted. However, the text is at an intermediate stage of the Codex procedure and changes can still be made. There could, therefore, be attempts to include this principle into the text during the next Commission meeting later this year which will have to consider this week’s decision of the CCGP.”


IADSA is the voice of the worldwide dietary supplement manufacturing industry and an accredited international non-governmental organization (INGO) with a seat at the table of the main international regulatory bodies. IADSA has more than doubled in size since its creation in 1998, and now represents 57 national trade associations and over 9,500 member companies.

For more information contact David Pineda Ereño, IADSA Manager, Regulatory Affairs, 50 Rue de l’Association, 1000 Brussels, Belgium, tel: +32 (0)2 209 1155, fax: +32 (0)2 223 3064, email [email protected] or visit www.iadsa.org.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.