Codex Alimentarius - The Food Code

Course Code: FSC 816

Credits: 3 credits

This course provides a thorough understanding of the organization of Codex Alimentarius, why Codex matters, the key documents, the nature and operation of the various committees, the standards, the interaction WHO, WTO, and the importance of Codex Alimentarius in world trade and global food law.

Codex Alimentarius is a global reference point for food producers, food processors, consumers, national food control agencies, and for international trade. Codex formulates and harmonizes food standards and ensures their global implementation. The objective of this course is to familiarize participants with the history, development, and workings of the Codex Alimentarius Commission in formulating and harmonizing food standards and ensuring their global implementation.

The lead subject matter expert for this course is P. Vincent Hegarty, Founding Director and Professor Emeritus of the Institute for Food Laws & Regulations at Michigan State University. Guest representatives from Codex Alimentarius, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the World Bank, the food industry, and a developing country provide distinct frames of reference. All reading assignments will be available as downloads within the modules or via the provided URLs. The course syllabus is subject to change each semester but generally covers the following topics: 

  • What is Codex Alimentarius?
  • Why Codex Matters
  • Some Key Codex Documents
  • General Subject Committees
  • Commodity Committees
  • Current Official Standards
  • Ad hoc Intergovernmental Task Forces
  • Regional Coordinating Committees
  • Food Safety, WHO and Codex
  • International Trade, WTO and Codex
  • The WTO SPS and TBT Agreements
  • Developing Countries and Codex
  • The World Bank and Codex
  • Food Industry and Codex

This course is offered in spring semesters only. 

Just click here to get started.  Transcript submission is not required through the Lifelong Education program.