HC Deb 05 November 1993 vol 231 cc509-10W
Mr. Llew Smith

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will make a statement on the accountability provisions to national Parliaments to be included in the Codex Alimentarius Commission to be established under the general agreement on tariffs and trade.

Mr. Soames

The codex alimentarius is a set of world food standards that have been developed over the past 30 years, designed both to protect consumers and to facilitate world trade in foodstuffs. The Codex Alimentarius Commission, which is the Food and Agriculture Organisation—World Health Organisation joint food standards programme, is an intergovernmental body and thus the decisions reached by it are those reached by Governments. GATT will bring with it a subsidiary agreement—the sanitary and phytosanitary agreement—whereby the international standards agreed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in the food area will be regarded as the international norm in cases of trade disputes that come forward for adjudication under the GATT procedure.