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Codex Alimentarius

Volume 475: debated on Friday 9 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what status the Codex Alimentarius has in the regulatory regime for medicines; and what assessment the Government have made of the effects of full introduction of the Codex on the regulation of natural, herbal and homeopathic medicines. (203513)

The Codex Alimentarius Commission was created in 1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to develop food standards, guidelines and related texts such as codes of practice under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme. The Codex Alimentarius standards are used as a reference point for consumers, food producers and processors, national food control agencies and the international food trade.

The Codex Alimentarius is not part of the regulatory framework for medicinal products and has not therefore been taken into consideration when regulating natural, herbal and homeopathic medicinal products. However, certain excipients in medicines, such as colourings, are covered by food standards which are taken into account by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency before allowing their use in medicinal products in the United Kingdom.