Codex Alimentarius Commission

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Recently, the Codex Alimentarious Commission (CAC) has praised India’s Standards on Millets and accepted its proposal for the development of global standards for millets during its 46th session held in Rome, Italy.

Why in the news?

  • India has framed a comprehensive group standard for 15 types of millets specifying 8 quality parameters, which received resounding applause at the international meet.
  • India put forward a proposal for the development of global standards for millets, particularly for Finger millet, Barnyard millet, Kodo millet, Proso millet and Little millet as group standards as in case of pulses. 

About Codex Alimentarius Commission

  • It is an international food safety and quality standard-setting body.
  • It was created by the World Health Organisation and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in May 1963.
  • Objective: Protecting consumer’s health and ensuring fair practices in the food trade.
  • Members: It consists of 189 member countries,
  • Membership of the Commission is open to all Member Nations and Associate Members of FAO and WHO which are interested in international food standards.
  • The Commission meets in regular session once a year alternating between Geneva and Rome.
  • Funding: The programme of work of the Commission is funded through the regular budgets of WHO and FAO with all work subject to approval of the two governing bodies of the parent organizations. 
  • The Commission works in the six UN official languages.
  • Currently it has standards for Sorghum and Pearl Millet.

What are Millets?

  • These are a collective group of small-seeded annual grasses that are grown as grain crops, primarily on marginal land in dry areas of temperate, sub-tropical, and tropical regions.
  • In India, millets can be clubbed into major, minor, and pseudo categories.
    • Major Millets: Sorghum (Jowar), Pearl Millet (Bajra), Finger Millet (Ragi/Mandua)
    • Minor Millets: Foxtail Millet (Kangani/Kakun), Proso Millet (Cheena), Kodo Millet, Barnyard Millet (Sawa/Sanwa/ Jhangora), Little Millet (Kutki)
    • Pseudo Millets: Buck-wheat (Kuttu) and Amaranth (Chaulai)
  • Top five states producing Millets: Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana.

Q1) What is the World Health Organisation?

It is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.

Source: Codex Alimentarius Commission Praises India’s Standards on Millets