Switzerland to chair the Codex Alimentarius Commission

Bern, Press release, 15.07.2014

Awilo Ochieng Pernet was elected chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) on Tuesday 15 July in Geneva. The lawyer has worked for this international food safety regulatory body since 1999 and been Vice-Chairperson of the CAC since 2011. The confidence shown in her by this election strengthens Switzerland in its commitment to safe and fairly traded food.

Awilo Ochieng Pernet will chair the CAC for the next three years. She has already been working for Codex Alimentarius for the past 15 years and is committed to its mission of making safe food available to all. From 1993 to 2013, Awilo Ochieng Pernet, who is a trained lawyer with degrees in human nutrition and food safety, worked for the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. Since January 2014, she has headed the "Multilateral Relations" section of the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO).

"My aim is to act as a bridge builder between Codex members and to recruit more individuals and organisations to make an active contribution to Codex Alimentarius", commented Awilo Ochieng Pernet after her election.

As Chairperson she intends to focus on ensuring that the Commission works in an innovative and efficient manner. She plans to adopt an inclusive approach and improve the opportunities for developing countries to make an active contribution. Constructive dialogue guided by the Codex core values of collaboration, inclusiveness for all members, consensus-building and transparency will be at the heart of her efforts to foster unity.

Faced with the global growth in the food trade, the FAO and the WHO decided at the beginning of the 1960s to establish an internationally valid set of norms – the Codex Alimentarius – to protect the health of consumers. The Codex Alimentarius is a collection of standards, directives, guidelines and recommendations designed to ensure that food is safe for consumers, unadulterated and properly labelled. The Codex standards provide Member States with a reference for the elaboration of food law. Switzerland is one of the founding members of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and has played an active role since 1963.

Further information:

Switzerland and the Codex Alimentarius

Address for enquiries:

Sabina Helfer
Tel. +41 58 464 80 34, media@blv.admin.ch


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