Since 1961, the Codex Alimentarius has provided a common set of standards for food safety, ranging from nutrition labeling to maximum residue limits (MRLs) for pesticides.
Scientists and officials from 185 member countries, as well as one member organization (the European Union), contribute to the development of these standards …. However, in recent years, some countries have been rapidly developing their own separate standards. In the most recent example of this, China notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) in February that it had developed draft standards on MRLs for 107 pesticides ….
The development of national lists is not on its own a concern …. What is concerning, however, is the degree to which some national lists are being developed independently from the work of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) ….
[T]he proliferation of various MRLs for different markets will make pesticide use extremely complicated over time. This is especially true of those markets where a national list is used but the regulatory system is less sophisticated than that seen in China. In such scenarios, the MRL often defaults to 0.01 parts per million (ppm), effectively zero tolerance.
Canada should encourage partners to …. [base their pesticide] …. guidelines in the Codex …. This would ensure consistent rules to which farmers globally can adhere when applying pesticides …. to crops. This would have the additional benefit of …. resolving disputes within the WTO regarding food safety and consumer protection.
Read full, original article: For farmers, the Codex is crucial