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World Trade Organization (WTO)

The WTO is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations.

www.wto.org

Mandate 

The WTO’s SPS Agreement states that “to harmonize sanitary and phytosanitary measures on as wide a basis as possible, Members shall base their sanitary or phytosanitary measures on international standards, guidelines or recommendations”. The Agreement names the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius as the relevant standard-setting organization for food and IPPC for plant health. See See SPS Agreement Introduction, Article 12.3 and Annex A paragraph 3(a)

The WTO and the World Health Organization

WTO collaborates with the WHO on a number of different issues related to trade and health. Although there is no formal agreement between the WHO and the WTO, the WHO has observer status in the SPS and TBT Committees, and it has ad hoc observer status in the TRIPS and GATS Councils. There is extensive collaboration between the two Secretariats relating to health and sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and continuing joint efforts to bring attention to the need for policy coherence between trade and health matters at both the global and national level.

Food safety and animal and plant health standards (SPS)  

FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission

The WTO’s SPS Agreement states that “to harmonize sanitary and phytosanitary measures on as wide a basis as possible, Members shall base their sanitary or phytosanitary measures on international standards, guidelines or recommendations”. The Agreement names the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius as the relevant standard-setting organization for food

The Codex Alimentarius is a collection of international food standards that have been adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (the “Codex”). The Codex is based in Rome and financed jointly by the FAO and the WHO.

For more information see: http://www.codexalimentarius.net

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