Proposed Analysis in Support of the Preparation of the Upcoming CCGP32 (Codex Committee on General Principles) Feb 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th and 15th, 2021 – Virtual Meetings


This document offers a review and analysis of the agenda items planned for discussion at the 32nd session of the Codex Committee on General Principles, scheduled to take place virtually from February 8th to February 15th, 2021 (8th, 9th, 11th, 12th, and 15th). The document is intended for possible use by the Codex communities of practice promoted by Scientists contributing to the Global Food Regulatory Science Society (GFoRSS) and PARERA, as part of their contribution to enhancing awareness and supporting effective participation in international standard setting meetings (Codex meetings) by representatives from members and observers.

The analysis provided in this article offers a factual review of some agenda items, their background and a discussion of some considerations. This analysis is indicative in nature and does not represent an official position of the organizations mentioned above i.e., PARERA and GFoRSS, their membership or their management.

Overall Comments on the Agenda

Key agenda items of the 32nd session of CCGP cover discussions on enhanced guidance and procedures related to Codex committees working by correspondence, as well as the review of structure and format of the procedural manual. 

Agenda Item 2: Matters Referred  (CX/GP 21/32/2)

  • Item related to Sub-Committee of CCEXEC on the Statements of Principle Concerning the Role of Science
    • With reference to CAC42 (July 2019), CAC43 (Sept/Oct 2020).
    • With Reference to the results of CCEXEC80 (January 2021):
  • The work of the CCEXEC Sub-committee tasked with this work is expected to continue with the same mandate and Terms of Reference (ToR) until CCEXEC81, under the chairmanship of Codex Vice-Chair Hariyadi.
  • This was confirmed as part of the conclusion of CCEXEC80.
  • CCGP does not have a formal role as such, in this work, other than to be at the receiving end of the outputs of this work, as other subsidiary bodies of Codex.
  • Item related to CCEXEC Sub-committee on Codex and the Pandemic – Strategic Challenges and Opportunities (CX/EXEC 21/80/3)
    • With reference to CAC43 (September/October 2020):
      • The work of the CCEXEC Sub-committee led to the development of a set of recommendations that are being applied in the organization of virtual meetings for the 2020/2021 Codex season.
      • CAC43 examined the outputs of the report and its recommendations; however, did NOT refer it to CCGP. As a result, CCGP is at the receiving end of these outputs as are all other subsidiary bodies of the commission – there is no formal role for the CCGP on this item, if the matter was not referred explicitly by the Commission.
      • The Commission concluded that no further procedural work is needed at this time, noting that the Codex Secretariat will continue to confer with FAO legal office, with respect to voting matters, if voting was to take place as part of virtual meetings.
      • There is an opportunity for all Codex subsidiary bodies to make full use of the remote working mechanisms available and tested during this period. This is equally applicable to Electronic Working Groups.

Overall, it is important to note that all matters referred here are for information.

The formal role of CCGP to review or endorse procedures (“review or endorsement of procedural provisions/texts forwarded by other subsidiary bodies for inclusion in the Procedural Manual of the Codex Alimentarius Commission; and the consideration and recommendation of other amendments to the Procedural Manual”) only kicks-in when formally tasked by the Commission.

Agenda Item 3 : Information on Activities of FAO and WHO Relevant to the Work of CCGP
(CX/GP 21/32/3 and CX/GP 21/32/3 Add.1)

  • This item is also an information item
  • The progress towards the organization of the UN Food Systems Summit (FSS) planned in 2021 is appreciated.
  • In accordance with Article 1(b) of the Codex Procedural Manual, Codex is charged with: “promoting coordination of all food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non-governmental organizations”. As a result, it is important that the “Codex Secretariat, and the chairperson and vice-chairpersons engage as appropriate in the discussions leading up to the summit”. This was further reaffirmed in the recent conclusions of the CCEXEC80 draft meeting report (January 2021) which also “encouraged Codex Members to engage in the country dialogues on the FSS”.

AGENDA ITEM  4:  Discussion Paper on Procedural Guidance for Committees Working by Correspondence (CWBC) (CX/GP 21/32/4 and CX/GP 21/32/4 Add.1)


The 41st session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC41, July 2018) requested the CCGP to formulate procedural guidance for committees working by correspondence (CWBC) based on and consistent with relevant existing guidance in the Codex Procedural Manual.  CCGP31 (2019) established an Electronic Working Group (EWG), chaired by New Zealand and co-chaired by the United States, Germany, and Japan, to make recommendations for consideration at this session.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the postponement of CCGP32 from March 2020 to February 2021, the CCGP CWBC EWG had additional rounds of consultation, in addition to Circular Letter (CL) 2020/59/OCS-GP, which was due January 15, 2021.


  • The Electronic Working Group (EWG) has achieved great progress to define elements of procedural guidance for Committees Working By Correspondence (CWBC).
  • It is important to maintain the option of committees working by correspondence in Codex, while ensuring consistency of their organization. Clear guidance would help uphold Codex values in the conduct of all Codex committees including CWBC (maintaining the same rules as for the conduct of physical meetings).
  • It is important to distinguish Work by Correspondence from Virtual meetings. The latter are covered by discussions at the CAC and CCEXEC and are related to a mode of delivery – for regular committee meetings and the Commission – using technology mediated means, allowing “electronic live participation” instead of “physical participation”. Work by correspondence allows for off-line input and progress of the Committee deliberations.
  • Some key points need consideration in relation to the current guidance:
    • This guidance, and the additional provisions to the procedural manual, are welcome and necessary. They will help address consistency of organization and handling of CWBC.
    • Additional clarification and development on certain points, such as: situations when CWBC may be considered a preferred option (when to resort to this option); and, in guiding chairpersons and members on their roles and participation, may be further required.
    • This guidance may be refined through lessons learnt and experience gathered from the actual organization of CWBC
    • The current guidance identifies, implicitly, situations when CWBC may be applied are related to instances where consensus is feasible and may be achieved (deemed achievable).
    • A key provision in the guidance relates to measures that can be relied upon, should consensus not be achieved, or should work not progress in a satisfactory manner for CWBC. In particular, referral to other committees working via physical meetings, convening “live” or physical meetings of a Working Group or of the Committee offer some options to address these challenges. Voting should not be resorted to, as part of this practice.
    • It is important that Voting be avoided as part of the practice applied for CWBC.


Overall, the EWG has accomplished great progress developing the sought-after guidance.
The additional input received recently and the deliberations planned during CCGP32
will no doubt help improve the document.

A question remains as to whether this guidance should be included in the procedural manual, or whether it should be considered as part of the guidance offered to chairs of Codex Committees (Chairs Handbook).

AGENDA ITEM 5:  Revisions/Amendments to Codex Texts (CX/GP 21/32/5)


This issue arose at CCGP31 (2019) through a CRD from the Secretariat (GP/31 CRD/10), which was filed too late for consideration at that session.


This paper discusses issues that may be considered for further clarification in relation to updates to Codex standards, resulting from “corrections, editorial amendments”, “substantive amendments” or “revision”, with the need to clarify each of these instances. This may be particularly relevant in the case of standards issued by Committees that have since adjourned. The paper offers a discussion of the situations being considered for further guidance and opportunities to handle such change either through a swift consideration by the Commission (after possible advice from CCEXEC) or through a request that a project document accompanies the consideration of change, with the requirement to follow the step process.

In all instances, the Commission remains the primary decision-maker, as to the approach to be followed, after consideration of the nature of change. The paper offers possible workflows to be considered more systematically with respect to specific scenarios of change, as they are defined.

CCGP is invited to discuss the need to make such clarifications:

  • Defining the changes that may occur or need to be considered for Codex standards.
  • Defining systematic approaches to address the necessary changes along with identifying version tracking.

CCGP will recommend whether the Codex Secretariat pursues the preparation of a more comprehensive document suggesting the guidance for consideration by the Commission, which may be referred to CCGP (tasked to CCGP) to review and endorse.

AGENDA ITEM 6: Format and Structure of the Codex Procedural Manual (CX/GP 21/32/6)


At CCGP31 (2019), the Codex Secretariat volunteered to prepare a paper reviewing avenues to make the Codex Procedural Manual more accessible and easier to use. CCGP31 further clarified that the planned review “did not have the objective to make substantive changes but would seek to improve the usability of the PM”.


The work undertaken by the Codex Secretariat on a searchable online version of the Codex Procedural Manual is valuable.

It is well noted that, should there be any need for changes to the Codex Procedural Manual, the Codex Secretariat should inform the Commission who will determine if / which issue(s) should be referred to CCGP.  As per the TOR of the CCGP, the Commission continues to be the sole body able to task/refer items to the CCGP for consideration.

As noted under para 3.3 of the Secretariat paper, it is important that the Codex Procedural Manual be made available in a downloadable PDF format, either in its entirety or by sections.

AGENDA ITEM 7:  Discussion Paper on Monitoring the Use of Codex Standards (CX/GP 21/32/7)


This paper was volunteered by the Delegation of France, subsequent to discussions at CCGP31, where no consensus was reached with regard to pursuing the establishment of a new monitoring mechanism for Codex standards and their adoption.


The discussion paper offers a review of various practices of international organizations, particularly those involved in standardization-related activities, measuring the adherence of its members to the outputs / standards issued by the organization.

The Paper links this effort to the current commitment expressed in the Codex Strategic Plan 2020-2025 (adopted by CAC42 in July 2019) under Strategic Goal 3 (Increase impact through the recognition and use of Codex standards), to develop a mechanism to measure impacts of Codex standards.

The Paper notes a previous practice applied by Codex, related to the “Acceptance Procedure”, which was revoked in 2005, “due to the fact that Codex Members did not apply it in practice” – quoted from the discussion paper.

A few considerations:  

  • There are currently a number of mechanisms that attempt to capture the level of adherence to Codex standards, in particular under the auspices of WTO, where the SPS committee has a standing agenda item on monitoring the use of international standards, and where a mandatory notification requirement exists for food standards and regulations adopted by member states.
  • The impact of Codex standards is not only reflected through the adoption of the standard by competent authorities. Some Codex texts are directed to food business operators. The impact of the uptake of the latter standards would be measured by the improvement of food safety and quality practices by a given food production sector / country / region.
  • The role of the Regional Coordinating Committees could be further reflected upon to discuss the relevance of Codex work and standards on the food safety and quality systems developed in a given region.
  • The level of investment needed by the Codex Secretariat, if indeed this role is to be devolved to the Secretariat, needs to be estimated and considered suitable in terms of return on investment.


While the paper offers a good analysis of mechanisms of monitoring of Codex standards,
the input of the Codex Secretariat is needed with respect to the resources that may be required
to envisage the various avenues discussed for this purpose.

Also, there may be value in discussing whether this “monitoring” is the only avenue
to achieve the Strategic goal and associated objectives stated in the 2020-25 Codex Strategic Plan.

AGENDA ITEM 8: Discussion Paper on Monitoring Codex Results in the Context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (CX/GP 21/32/8)


The delegation of France drafted the discussion paper, subsequent to the discussion at CCGP31, related to the development of indicators to show Codex’s contributions to achieving the SDGs, notably SDGs 2, 3, 12, and 17.  Delegations expressed diverse views. The CCGP noted France’s offer to voluntarily prepare a discussion paper for consideration at CCGP32.


  • The paper reviewed various approaches pursued to track the progress towards achieving the SDGs, by various international organizations, and in particular, by the parent organizations of Codex (FAO and WHO).
  • The paper notes that FAO and WHO have prepared a publication that provides an in-depth analysis of how Codex is contributing to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • The Codex Strategic Plan 2020-2025 accounts for the SDGs as part of the drivers of change and therefore the capacity of Codex to contribute to the global agenda, as part of its mandate.
  • The Codex Secretariat, as well as FAO and WHO, continue to communicate about the possible impacts of Codex on the overall holistic approach advocated by the SDGs.
  • While the discussion offered by the paper is useful, the resource implications related to implementing some or all of the proposed recommendations need to be fully considered in the context of the constrained resource environment of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and of the Codex Secretariat.

Download translation of the document in Arabic –

Highlights of Discussion Points : IUFoST Scientific Roundtable on Supporting the Resilience of the Food Production Sector and Limiting Food Supply Disruption During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The current COVID-19 Pandemic has uncovered vulnerabilities in the food / agrifood supply chains, which, if not addressed, may contribute to the global degradation of health and the economy. All partners and stakeholders involved in the food production sector – producers at every supply chain level, food regulators, retailers and consumers – have taken measures to overcome these vulnerabilities, to develop and to apply preventive and mitigation measures to help ensure sufficient food production and supply chains are kept intact.

The International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) partnered with the Food Systems and Nutrition Division, Agri-Business Development Department of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Food Risk Analysis and Regulatory Excellence Platform (PARERA) of Université Laval, Québec, Canada, to organize a round table discussion with the objective to share perspectives of the food production sector and food regulators on the challenges faced, solutions developed and lessons learnt, in various parts of the world, in an effort to prevent the disruption of food production and to contribute in maintaining the safety of products and consumer confidence.

The roundtable gathered food regulators and representatives of the food production sector from Asia, Europe, South America and the Middle East.

The Roundtable was co-chaired by:

Mr. Ali Badarneh, Chief Food Systems and Nutrition Division, Agri-Business Development Department, United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO), and Prof. Samuel Godefroy, Professor Food Risk Analysis and Regulatory Policies, Food Risk Analysis and Regulatory Excellence Platform (PARERA), Department of Food Sciences, Institute of Nutrition and Functional Food (INAF), Université Laval, Quebec City, QC, Canada.

Panelists included:

  • Ms. Jiang YiFan, Head, Science & Regulatory Affairs, Food Industry Asia, Singapore
  • Dr. Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive officer, Food Safety Authority of Ireland, Republic of Ireland
  • Mr. Sébastien Beaulieu, Vice-President Quality, Leclerc Foods, Québec, Canada
  • Mrs. Joyce Haddad, Director of Preventive Healthcare, Ministry of Public Health, Lebanon
  • Dr. Nuri Gras, CEO, Agencia Chilena para la Inocuidad y Calidad Alimentaria, Chile
  • Ms. Jenna Wijngaarde, Food Safety Advisor, Primary Production Sector, Suriname

Key Highlights of the Roundtable

A number of factors contributed to the ability of the food production sector to cope with the current pandemic:

  • A commitment from partners to address the challenges on their operations and on the overall supply chain in order to maintain the safety and availability of food products.
  • A commitment not to succumb to protectionist instincts but instead to keep the flow of trade in food and agrifood products open and fluid with the conscious intent to maintain affordability of food ingredients across the supply chain.
  • The ability to adapt to constraints of limited transportation and the need to diversify suppliers with the introduction of more local and/or regional providers to prevent and mitigate food shortages while encouraging and supporting the local production sectors minimally affected by the consequences of the pandemic. 
  • The prioritization of food regulatory functions based on risk through the deployment of innovative solutions – such as automatic renewal of regulatory licenses, a stronger reliance on self-audits and assessments – capable of collecting data to substantiate results.
  • Efforts to promote collaboration among partners and between stakeholders with the intention to share and disseminate experiences related to how COVID-19 mitigation measures can be applied and adapted in the context of food production.
  • The importance of communication at every level within a food production operation – from the most senior leadership and beyond – to support coping efforts and the uptake of mitigation measures.
  • Communication was also instrumental between regulators – through existing networks regionally and internationally that were mobilized for this purpose – to coordinate action in risk assessment and to provide concerted guidance to the food production sector, as well as adapt their own food regulatory operations, to the realities of COVID-19.

The pandemic has also highlighted some structural limitations that must be addressed with some level of priority:

  • The limited transportation networks at the local or regional level (for example: intra-Caribbean region) and restricted processing capacity has impeded the ability of agricultural production sectors in countries that were less impacted by the pandemic – such as Suriname – to reach other markets or to extend the shelf life of perishable goods.
  • The inadequate preparedness of some sectors and actors – due to the lack of procedures, protocols or guidance – contributed to their inability to react and adapt swiftly resulting in a detrimental climate of uncertainty for food and agrifood business operations.

While this pandemic is still with us for an unforeseen period, it is important to look beyond and prepare for the period after, by:

  • Undertaking the possible review of food supply chains towards a better redistribution between global and local / regional supply, including all necessary investments to enable adaptation.
  • Investing to address food production sector deficiencies, such as more localized processing operations in order to create better / more opportunities for the primary production sector and to contribute to its resilience.
  • Relying to a greater extent on digitalization and innovative operationalization of functions – such as inspection, audits and assessments – using affordable and accessible remote tools and data-driven-approaches which can be adapted to the needs of smaller operations, including small hold farmers.

Presentation Highlighting the Importance of Collection of Food Consumption Information in Risk-Analysis Driven Food Regulatory Decision

This presentation was given at the annual conference of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority in Riyadh (through Remote participation).

It aims at highlighting the importance of Food Consumption Information in Food Risk Assessment: “What you Consume Influences How You Are Exposed to Food Risks”.

Food consumption data are key to enabling the conduct of risk assessments and several other risk-based interventions in relation with food. In particular, exposure assessments are a required component of food risk assessment. This assessment will be highly dependent on the availability of data characterizing the way individuals, in a given area, consume food products: the type of foods consumed, their composition and condition of preparation, as well as patterns of consumption. While hazards are characterized in the same manner for humans, accounting for the relevant uncertainties associated with vulnerable groups, exposure assessment and therefore risk characterization is population-dependent. Risk assessments developed at the international level or by a reputable risk assessment body, has to be reviewed to gauge the suitability of its conclusions to a given population or geographic area, through the application of the relevant estimation of exposure, using the suitable and corresponding food consumption information. This presentation attempts to highlight the importance of collecting food consumption data as part of investments in promoting risk-based food decision-making.


It will be important to invest in the development of tools accessible to various food competent authorities around the world to collect food consumption data, based on a common approach, and make such tools accessible broadly, to food competent authorities in developing nations.

أكمل اثنى عشر (12) خبيراً من 10 دول عربية الجزء الثاني من برنامج تعزيز الكفاءة الخاص بتقييم مخاطر الأغذية الذي صممته ونفذته المبادرة العربية لسلامة الأغذية لتسهيل التجارة (SAFE).

تم تطوير وتنفيذ هذه المرحلة من التدريب بالتعاون مع الوكالة الفرنسية للأغذية والصحة والسلامة البيئية والمهنية حيث استضافت الوكالة هذا  التدريب في مقرها العام في  فرنسا من 17-21 يونيو 2019 وخصصت أكثر من 10 علماء وخبير لتصميم وتقديم برنامج تدريبي فريد النوع، بالتعاون مع أساتذة جامعة لافال (كيبيك ، كندا). وخبراء المبادرة العربية لسلامة الأغذية و تسهيل التجارة. تم تصميم التدريب في شكل عروض للمفاهيم الرئيسية في تقييم التعرض، وتقييم المخاطر الميكروبيولوجية والكيميائية مع التركيز على المناهج التي من الضروري اتباعها لتطوير مصادر البيانات اللازمة لتقييم المخاطر، مثل إعداد وتنفيذ دراسات النظام الغذائي الشامل ، بالإضافة إلى الاعتماد على الأدوات التي يشيع استخدامها من قبل مقيمي المخاطر ، مثل البرامج المستخدمة في تقييم التعرض

 وهكذا تمكنت شبكة خبراء تقييم المخاطر الغذائية العربية، والتي تضم المجموعة الأولى من متدربي المبادرة العربية لسلامة الاغذية ، من استكمال المعلم الثاني لبرنامج تعزيز الكفاءة ، المخصص لتلبية احتياجات المنطقة العربية ، بقصد التأدية ، على الأقل ، لمجتمع تجارب وخبرات في مجال تقييم مخاطر سلامة الأغذية ، يمكن  الاعتماد على خبراتهم لدعم القرارات التنظيمية لسلامة الغذاء على اسس علمية، وبناء على درجة الخطورة،  ، سواء لإدارة الحوادث او وضع معايير سلامة الغذاء في المنطقة العربية. ومن ثم، ستمكّن هذه الجهود من تحقيق تماسك أقوى في القرارات الغذائية بين الدول العربية وبما يتماشى مع أفضل الممارسات الدولية وكذلك اتفاقية الصحة و الصحة النباتية لمنظمة التجارة العالمية.

ويتواصل برنامج تعزيز الكفاءات  الخاص بتقييم المخاطر في المنطقة العربية ، من خلال فترة تدريب على الإنترنت للأشهر الثلاثة القادمة تليها المرحلة الأخيرة من ورش العمل لتقييم المخاطر التي ستعقد في عمان ، الأردن ، في أكتوبر 2019.

المبادرة العربية لسلامة الأغذية و تسهيل التجارة   هي عبارة عن برنامج تنموي تموله الوكالة السويدية للتعاون الإنمائي الدولي بتنفيذ منظمة الأمم المتحدة للتنمة الصناعية   وبالشراكة مع جامعة الدول العربية  و المنظمة العربية للتنمية الصناعية و التعدين والمنظمة العربية للتنمية الزراعية.

12 experts from 10 Arab countries complete another milestone of the tailored competency enhancement program in food risk assessment designed and implemented by the Arab Food Safety Initiative for Trade Facilitation (SAFE) @arabsafetrade

This phase of the training was developed and carried out in collaboration with the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES). ANSES hosted the training at its Headquarters in Maison-Alfort, France from June 17-21, 2019 and devoted more than 10 scientists and experts to design and deliver a dedicated training program, in collaboration with Laval University (Quebec, QC. Canada) Professors and SAFE experts. The training was designed in the form of presentations of key concepts in exposure assessment, microbiological and chemical risk assessment with an emphasis on approaches to develop data sources in support of risk assessment, such as the set-up and implementation of Total Diet Studies, as well as the reliance on tools commonly used by risk assessors, such as software used in exposure assessment.


The Arab food risk assessors’ network, which includes the first cohort of SAFE trainees has completed the second milestone of the competency enhancement program, specifically designed to address the needs of the Arab region, through SAFE with the intent to lead, at minimum, to a community of practice of food safety risk assessors, that can be called upon to support science and risk-based regulatory decisions, both for incident management and standard setting in the Arab region. Such efforts will enable a stronger coherence in food decisions amongst Arab countries and in alignment with international best practices as well as the SPS agreement of the World Trade Organization.

Two other phases are envisaged for the completion of this unique competency enhancement program, through an On-line training period for the upcoming three months, followed by a last phase of face-to-face risk assessment workshops, to be held in Amman, Jordan, in October, 2019.

SAFE is a food safety capacity building funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in partnership with the League of Arab States (LAS) and its subsidiary organizations the Arab Organization for Agriculture Development (AOAD) and the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO).

Propagating Training and Research in #FoodRegulatoryScience on #WorldFoodSafety Day

One day each year is now dedicated to food safety. Today, June 7th, 2019 and together, we celebrate the first-ever World Food Safety Day!

Food safety is a prerequisite to food availability and security. Unsafe food is not a commodity that can be traded, may lead to serious health repercussions, not only in individuals but across populations. Food that is not safe can undermine consumer confidence and trust.

Food Control Systems aim to ensure that consumers are protected from instances of unsafe food, to clarify responsibilities and provide guidance to all parties involved in food production, across the supply chain, such that food safety hazards are identified and prevented from introduction in the food supply. Food Control Regimes empower regulators to set and oversee food production requirements, make the relevant decisions to protect consumers and to ensure fair practices in the food trade. Ineffective Food Control Structures, associated with ill-equipped regulators, result in unpredictable environments and untrustworthy markets leading, unequivocally, to potential health and economic emergencies. Investing in food safety capacity building should encompass not only upgrades to the food production sector but also enhancement of regulatory oversight in a given jurisdiction.
Faculty-FSAATraining and propagation of food regulatory sciences is one avenue to enable the improvement of competencies and capacities of food regulators around the world. This is one of the mandates of the Food Risk Analysis and Regulatory Excellence Platform (PARERA), recently created by the Department of Food Sciences jointly with the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Food (INAF) of the Université Laval. The Platform contributes to the development of tailored training on risk analysis, with a specific focus on risk assessment, as well as on best practices of food regulatory policies.

The Platform also plans to create an open access data hub for contaminant and nutrient occurrence in food and to support the collection of food consumption information useful for exposure assessment purposes.

Recognizing the importance of food testing in generating the scientific information underpinning food regulatory decision-making, the Platform also hosts the International Food Safety Training Laboratory (IFSTL), a unique facility that develops and delivers competency enhancement programs in chemical residue analysis and other food chemical safety laboratory techniques.IFSTL parera

Fostering standardization of food analytical methods is another objective pursued by the Platform, with the objective to disseminate best practices in food analytical performance and to harmonize, globally, the reliance upon reference methods for (a) given analyte(s), with guidance / direction from the AOAC International.

The above represents a snapshot of commitments that colleagues and partners involved in the development of the Platform are helping to achieve through their invaluable dedication, engagement and funding.

Celebrating World Food Safety Day once a year presents not only an opportunity to review our progress on such obligations, but also to identify new needs and challenges that must be addressed now and into the future. As with similar endeavours, collaboration and partnerships are, without question, key to attain the desired impact: to achieve food safety through improved regulatory oversight.

Saudi Food & Drug Authority #SFDA Concludes the First Meeting of its International Risk Assessment Committee (IRAAC)

The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) hosted the first meeting of the International Risk Assessment Advisory Committee (IRAAC) from 27-29 November 2018 in Riyadh. His Excellency, Professor Al Jadhi, CEO of the SFDA opened the meeting and expressed his support to the work to be undertaken by the Committee in providing strategic and scientific advice to the Authority on risk assessment initiatives as well as on the way scientific opinions and risk determination should be positioned at the heart of the food decision-making process and standard setting. Profs., Patrick Wall (Ireland), Paul Brent (Australia), Dr. Yokiko Yamada (Japan) and myself (Samuel B. Godefroy) contributed to the meeting. Dr. Rashed Alarfaj, Executive Director, Department of Monitoring & Risk Assessment, represented the SFDA as the Ex-Officio member of the Committee.

The Committee meeting reviewed the proposed structure of the food decision-making process proposed by the SFDA in alignment with risk analysis principles, along with its supporting governance structure. It enabled to offer advice and comments on the SFDA projected integrated food monitoring program and on directions for food-related research to be undertaken by the SFDA Research Centre. The Committee also discussed the outputs of risk ranking and development of risk profiles by SFDA science and policy teams in relation with priority food hazards. Committee members appreciated the level of maturity of the SFDA risk assessment capacity and offered advice on future directions of investments in training in this discipline as well as tool acquisition and modernization, in alignment with the leadership vision of the Authority, at the regional and international level.

I was honoured to be appointed Chair of the committee for the next 2 years and am looking forward to contributing with my peers and colleagues to providing advice towards strengthening the already robust foundation of risk assessment and risk analysis capacity of the SFDA for the benefit of consumers in Saudi Arabia and globally.

Additional links :

Report on IRAAC from SFDA’s Website ;

Example of Media Coverage of the meeting  ; Coverage by the Saudi Press Agency


La #FSAA de l’Université Laval Signe un Accord de Principe avec l’Autorité de Sécurité Sanitaire d’Inde #FSSAI

26 Octobre 2018 – Mumbai – Inde – La faculté des sciences de l’Agriculture de de l’alimentation (FSAA) de l’Université Laval signe un accord de principe pour le développement de collaborations avec l’Autorité de Sécurité Sanitaire d’Inde (FSSAI).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cet accord a été signé en marge du the 19th Congress of Food Science and Technology, qui s’est tenu à Mumbai pendant la même semaine. La collaboration anticipée s’inscrit dans le cadre de l’installation prochaine au sein de la FSAA du Laboratoire International de Formation sur la Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments (IFSTL) et de la création du Centre de Formation International sur la Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments et la Nutrition (ITC-FSAN) établi conjointement entre la FSSAI et le Conseil d’Inspection des Exportations de l’Inde (EIC). L’entente couvrira les aspects de développement de compétences sur l’analyse des risques, les politiques règlementaires ainsi que l’analyse de la contamination alimentaire.

L’accord de collaboration sera développé et se mettre en place progressivement courant 2019.

Basic RGB

Signing of a Memorandum of Intent between the Food Safety Standards Authority of India #FSSAI @ Université Laval’s FSSA, On the Margins of the 19th Congress of Food Science and Technology

Mumbai, India, 26 October 2018, 

On the margins of the 19thWorld Congress of Food Science and Technology held in Mumbai on October 23 – 27, 2018, a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) was signed between the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Université Laval’s Faculty of Agriculture and Food Science (FSAA), Québec, Canada.


The MOI calls for the development of collaborative efforts in setting training initiatives in areas supporting risk analysis and regulatory policy development. In particular, partnership in training associated with food chemical testing will be developed in conjunction with the future installation of the International Food Safety Training Laboratory (IFSTL) at Université Laval and the creation of the International Training Centre on Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (ITC-FSAN) to be established jointly between FSSAI and India’s Export Inspection Council (EIC).