Codex agrees new work on Front of Pack Labelling & other key future work

The Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL) agreed this week in Asunción, Paraguay, to start new work on the development of general principles for Front of Pack (FOP) Nutrition Labelling systems, including the consideration of all aspects that need to be addressed in the development of such systems.

The project document on this new work agreed by the CCFL will be forwarded to the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the highest decision-making body in Codex, for its formal endorsement at its next session in July next year.

Furthermore, the CCFL also agreed to request to the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) to consider working on general guidelines for the development of Nutrient Profiles to complement the work on FOP labelling. The next opportunity for the CCNFSDU to address this request will be at its next session that will be held in December this year in Berlin, Germany.

In addition to this, and following a similar approach with FOP labelling, the CCFL agreed to initiate the process for preliminary consideration and debate for future work on the following key areas with very significant impact on food and beverages:

  • Development of criteria for the definition of “high in” nutritional descriptors for fat, sugar and sodium
  • Update of food allergen labelling information requirements
  • Labelling of alcoholic beverages
  • Internet sales of food and beverages/e-commerce as regards labelling requirements
  • Innovation and the use of technology in the labelling of food and beverages
  • Labelling of foods in multipack format

The Codex Secretariat will be issuing a Circular Letter for Codex members and observers to provide their views on the challenges that are being experienced on each of the areas mentioned above. Following that and taking into account the information provided, for each area a country has been appointed to prepare, either alone or in partnership with few other countries, a discussion paper to identify the issues to be addressed at the next session of the CCFL.

The CCFL did not confirm yet when its next session will be held, although it is expected to take place in Canada sometime within the next eighteen months.