Member of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for One Health of the European WHO office, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Nailya Karsybekova took part in the third meeting, which took place from September 18 to 20, 2023 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The meeting was opened by the Director of the WHO European Office, Hans Kluge, who noted the enormous contribution of TAG to the work of the region within the framework of the One Health approach.
The work was attended by 25 members from different European countries, representatives of the OIE, and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
Reports were presented from the headquarters of WHO, UNEP, and the EU. WHO country offices reported on the implementation of the One Health approach in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
The chairmen of the TAG working subgroups reported on the results of the summer consultations with TAG members.
TAG members made comments and additions to the draft operational document for the implementation of the One Health approach in the European Region. The final version will be presented to TAG members to finalize the document. The final version of the document will be presented at a high-level meeting of European health ministers, which will be held on April 14-15, 2024 in Israel.
On September 14-15, 2023 Karsybekova N.M. took part in the regional forum “Further development of food safety standards and participation in the Codex of Europe and Central Asia” in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Forum was attended by representatives of the European countries, regional offices of FAO and WHO, as well as the Regional coordinator (Germany), WTO, IPPC, OIE, WB who are actively working in the region in food safety and the Codex, representatives of the Azerbaijan government, scientific and academic community and producer organizations participated in the event from Azerbaijan.
Progress, problems of use and participation in the Codex of the region were discussed, and current aspects of food safety were considered within the framework of the “One Health” concept.
FAO/WHO Trust Fund project grant recipient countries shared experiences, lessons learned and success stories.
The Azerbaijan Food Safety Agency (AFSA) celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. Employees presented their work experience over the past period, identified problems and ways to solve them.
September, 7-8, 2023, The Codex Alimentarius Team took part in a workshop for national experts of Uzbekistan by the invitation of the Ministry of Health, Sanitary and Epidemiological Welfare and Public Health Committee.
The workshop was attended by representatives of the country offices of FAO, WHO, WTO lawyer-consultant, interested ministries and departments, researchers, and food producers.
Kazakh experts introduced the participants to the basics of the work of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and its subsidiary bodies – the committees. An analytical review of the test circular letters was conducted by the participants themselves. An analysis of errors was carried out and recommendations were formulated for their elimination, an appropriate assessment of the work of the experts’ groups was given.
The organizers and participants of the workshop expressed gratitude to the Codex Alimentarius Team of Kazakhstan for the assistance and advisory assistance provided.
A two-day workshop for national food safety experts was held in frame of the WHO Trust Fund Project "Building sustainable national capacity on Codex Alimentarius" for 2021-2023 in a physical mode. The previous 2 workshop was held online.
The workshop was opened by Nailya Karsybekova, Professor, MD, National Coordinator for Codex Alimentarius. She also made a report on the experience of Kazakhstan in the framework of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
Invited WHO international expert Jeronimas Maskeliunas informed about international rules governing food trade, as well as scientific support and the role of national experts in the development of documents in the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
Codex contact point Tolysbayeva Zh. spoke about the Codex documents and standards, the algorithm of the national expert actions in the formation of comments on the Codex Committee circular letters. Relevant examples were given from experience of the work at Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods.
INFOSAN Coordinator Sharipov Z. made a presentation on issues from development to implementation of Codex Alimentarius standards using the example of the Codex Committees on Residues of Veterinary Drugs, Pesticide Residues in Food, Imports, Inspection and Certification Systems for Food Imports and Exports. Topical issues of work within the above committees were also presented.
Professor Karsybekova N. provided information on new food sources. The presentation aroused genuine interest among the audience and sparked discussions from both a professional and a consumer point of view.
The second day of the workshop began with an anonymous survey of the audience on the Codex Alimentarius issues and CAC work. Then the experts made comments from the groups on previously received circular letters. The comments were discussed by all experts, and the international expert Jeronimas Maskeliunas made a conclusion.
The workshop participants were awarded certificates.
Within the framework of the FAO/WHO Codex Trust Fund Project of the Republic of Kazakhstan a round table «The role of Codex Alimentarius standards in international trade» was held on June 14, 2023. This round table was dedicated to the discussion of the application of Codex Alimentarius standards in the Republic of Kazakhstan and topical issues of food safety both in export-import and in its implementation on the domestic market. The moderator of the event was the Deputy Chairman of the Sanitary and Epidemiological Control Committee of the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Kazakhstan Rakhimzhanova M.T.
The participants of the round table were Chairman of the Committee for Technical Regulation and Metrology of the Ministry of Trade and Integration of the Republic of Kazakhstan K.N. Elikbayev, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Consumer Protection of the Ministry of Trade and Integration of the Republic of Kazakhstan B.A. Tanabergenov, Head of the Veterinary Control and Supervision Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan S.A. Abylkasymova. Also, there were representatives of the management of the RSE on REM «Republican Veterinary Laboratory» VCSC MoA RK, the RSE on REM «KazStandart» TRMC MoT RK, as well as representatives of the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of the Republic of Kazakhstan «Atameken» also took part.
In her speech, Deputy Chairman of the Sanitary and Epidemiological Control Committee of the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Kazakhstan Rakhimzhanova M.T. noted «The rapid development of production technologies and the Internet bring international trade in food products to a new level. This requires the governments of the countries to strengthen their work and coordination in ensuring food safety."
Chairman of the Committee of Technical Regulation and Metrology of the Ministry of Trade and Integration of the Republic of Kazakhstan K.N. Elikbayev told in his speech about the ongoing work in the field of technical regulation on the safety and quality of food products. The work carried out within the framework of the development and application of technical regulations and standards in force on the territory of the republic was presented. At the same time, he is noted that the basis for their development are international standards, including the Codex Alimentarius.
Also, the report on ensuring food safety in the veterinary medicine made by the Head of Directorate of the Committee on Veterinary Control and Supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan Abylkasymova S.A., with emphasis on the measures taken to develop and improve the veterinary control system.
Following the results of the Round Table, important issues of food safety were discussed and the following recommendations were adopted:
1. The need to strengthen intersectoral cooperation in the monitoring, control and supervision of food safety, including by improving the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
2. In the light of possible global and regional challenges and threats, improve the communication mechanism and update the list of responsible persons to ensure interaction with the international community (INFOSAN, IHR, TBT/SPS Information Center, etc.).
3. Update the lists of responsible persons of departments and subordinate organizations, including scientists, to ensure regular participation in the work on Codex Alimentarius documents and standards.
To keep up-to-date the register of national experts for working with Codex Alimentarius documents and standards.
Conduct training of national experts in a systematic manner.
4. To recommend to the authorized bodies to promote export-oriented products to work out in advance the issues of readiness to ensure proper control over the implementation of safety and quality of products.
5. Declare the need to implement a mechanism to confirm the implementation of food safety on the basis of HACCP principles.
About 200 INFOSAN coordinators of the world took part in the webinar.
Presentations discussed the role of Codex standards, INFOSAN in international food trade and in the prevention of emergencies born contaminated food.
FAO Representative Eleonora Dupоuy reported on improving the resilience of agri-food systems through Codex and INFOSAN standards.enhancing the sustainability of agri-food systems through Codex standards and INFOSAN. For example, Diego Varela, Deputy Chairman of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, presented the draft Codex Alimentarius Guidelines on Food Safety in Emergencies.
WTO Representative Christine Wolf reviewed available information on food safety and trade. Dr Marion Gottschald, Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Germany spoke about the Food Chain Laboratory.
Dr. Karsybekova Nailya reported on the regional perspectives of Central Asia in terms of the Codex and Infosan. National Perspectives on Qatar presented by Dr. Wasan Al Baker, Qatar.
Moderator, Dr Moez Sanaa, WHO noted that the webinar was productive and useful for the audience.
June 14, 2023. A round table dedicated to the World Food Safety Day (WFSD) was held. The Round table was opened by the Chairman of the CSEC of the MoH RK Sadvakasov N.O., the head of the WHO Country Office Dr. Skender Syla, Bozaeva Janyl from the country office of the FAO Regional Office for Europe, and the head of the Subregional Coordinating Office of the World Organisation for Animal Health, Mereke Taitubaev.
Sadvakasov N.O. noted: "It's no secret that the foods we consume determine the standard of our lives and the well-being of future generations." The FAO representative believes that "Unsafe food is not food!".
WHO estimates that eating food contaminated with bacteria, viruses or parasites, or poisoned by toxic or chemical substances, causes 600 million foodborne illnesses and 420,000 deaths each year.
The Round Table raised and discussed issues of a new approach to inspections of subjects, including food consumption places, ensuring public health in food safety during emergencies, the role of the veterinary service in food safety system, technical regulation to ensure food safety and aspects of the development of laboratory services.
Jeronimas Maskeliunas, an invited WHO international expert, emphasized the importance of the documents developed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission for the prevention of food poisoning. The resolution was adopted at the end of the event.
The Codex Alimentarius Group participated in the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) Seventh Expert Group Hybrid Meeting on Healthy and Safe Food. The meeting was arranged by the Islamic Organization for Food Security and the Kazakh Agro University named after S. Seifullin. The Rector of KazAtu, academician of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan Tireuov KM, general director of IOFS E. Baidaulet, Ministry of Agriculture, professors of the universities of Iran and Pakistan made a welcoming speech.
In frame the plenary session, presentations were heard and discussed on the IOFS methodology for the inclusion of non-Tayyab food products, the traceability system, advanced blockchain capabilities for traceability from “gene to fork”, the role of food safety in education and science, the potential and barriers in the export of Kazakhstani food products, food hygiene in Jordan, dehydration issues and technologies in Pakistan, strengthening the food safety of poultry meat through the training of teachers and students of the University of Arkansas, USA. The experience of such training programs will be introduced in KazAtu named after S. Seifullin.
Dr., Professor Karsybekova Nailya made a presentation on the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Experience of Kazakhstan.
THEME 2023 - "Food standards save lives"
Food supply chains involve several people: producers, processors, transporters, distributors, retailers, cooks as well as consumers.
At every point in the chain, there are hazards that can cause contamination. Everyone involved at the various stages has a responsibility to keep food safe.
There are five calls to action on World Food Safety Day:
1. Ensure it’s safe - Governments must ensure safe and nutritious food for all
2. Grow it safe - Agriculture and food producers need to adopt good practices
3. Keep it safe - Business operators must make sure food is safe
4. Know what’s safe - Consumers need to learn about safe and healthy food
5. Team up for food safety – Let’s work together for safe food and good health!
May, 24-25, 2023, the INFOSAN Secretariat, FAO and WHO European Offices held the Sub-regional Workshop on Rapid Information Exchange during Food Safety Emergencies in Central Asia in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The delegations of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were represented by specialists from the sanitary and epidemiological services of the countries. Codex Alimentarius Group, specialists of the Scientific and Practical Center for Sanitary and Epidemiological Expertise and Monitoring of the National Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kazakh Research Institute of Plant Protection and Quarantine named after Zh. Zhyembayeva took part as observers.
The trainers of the workshop were experts from the Regional Offices of FAO and WHO, the INFOSAN Secretariat. Experts from the International Standards Agency of Great Britain and responsible person for INFOSAN in Turkey shared their experience.
Country delegations presented food safety emergency response systems at the national level. The delegations took part in simulation sessions, discussed the problems of interdepartmental implementation of emergency response and ways to solve them, and also got acquainted with the work of the INFOSAN Community website.
Thus, the workshop held with the participation of the Central Asia countries showed the initial status of emergency response systems in the field of food safety, problems and ways to solve them.
April 21, 2023, a meeting of the Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC) on the issues of the Codex Alimentarius was held. Members of the Council honored the memory of a member of the ICC, Professor Dalenov E.D. The Chairman welcomed the new member - Bukeeva Zh., Deputy Director of the Research Institute of Preventive Medicine named after Dalenov E.D. at the Astana Medical University.
Professor Karsybekova N. reported the activities of the Codex Alimentarius Team for the 1st quarter (January-March) 2023. The members of the Council were informed about the work with the CSEC of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Codex Committees, advisory assistance to neighboring countries, as well as meetings and events with partners and stakeholders, including AMR.
Further Dr. Karsybekova N. provided information on the proposal for the official register of national food safety experts. The document was discussed among the members of ICC. A round table was held on the rationing of trans fats and countermeasures against AMR within the framework of cooperation with the Coordinating Center for Technical Regulation of the KTRM MTI RK.
Chairman Rakhimzhanova M. proposed to discuss the priority Codex Committees for the RK. Their is the need for training in sampling on assessing the organoleptic properties of products. Professor KAZATU Maykanov B. informed the members of the Council about the availability of paid courses on this topic.
Prof. Karsybekova N. noted that the Codex Alimentarius Team currently works as the staff of the National Center of Expertise, Department of Strategic Development and International Cooperation.
April 14, 2023, CCCF’16 pre-session meeting was held in online mode for delegates from the European region, chaired by Germany as the coordinating country. Azerbaijan, Great Britain, EU, Kazakhstan, Norway took part in the meeting.
The discussion took place on the following documents:
- Maximum levels for lead in certain food categories. Countries agreed to the proposed ML for lead in sugar. However, regarding to ready-to-eat meals for infants and young children, it was supported that children are more vulnerable consumer group, ingredients of these products should be selected to ensure the lead content is as low as reasonably achievable.
- Sampling plans for total aflatoxins in certain cereals and cereal-based products including foods for infants and young children. The EU proposes a single criterion for the LOQ (limit of quantitation) among the four aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1 and G2), as they use the same method of analysis. Kazakhstan added that all possible measures should be taken during sampling and preparation for testing to prevent any changes in the aggreged sample that could affect the content of analyzed mycotoxins in the sample.
- Maximum level for total aflatoxins in ready-to-eat peanuts and associated sampling plan. In the countries of the European region, nuts are not produced on an industrial scale. The occurrence data of aflatoxin total in ready-to-eat peanuts should be provided with analytical results from the different important peanut producing countries in the world.
- The prevention or reduction of ciguatera poisoning. It is necessary to create and develop a discussion paper within the framework of establishing an Electronic Working Group (EWG). It was announced that the EWG will be led by the European Union, Sweden and Spain.
- Forward work-plan for CCCF: Review of staple food-contaminant combinations for future work of CCCF. It’s decided to support Option 1 for follow-up, i.e. continuation of this work through the EWG.
April 4, 2023, the Round Table “National and international regulation of trans fat acids (TFAs) and residual veterinary drugs in food products” was held in a hybrid mood. On behalf of the Chairman of the Committee for Sanitary and Epidemiological Control (CSEC) of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the participants were welcomed by the representative of the Committee. Interested enterprises, territorial departments of the CSEC MoH of RK, the Ministry of Agriculture of RK and others took part. The topic of the event aroused keen interest and, unfortunately, due to the limitation in connection of 100 people, not everyone could join.
The issue of TFAs regulating in oil and fat products began with the report of the Deputy Head of the Coordination Center for Technical Regulation of the RSE “Institute for Standardization and Metrology” Razzarenov A. The speech covered the standardization and TFAs regulation in the Republic of Kazakhstan and the EAEU. Codex contact point of RK Tolysbayeva Zh. provided information on the medical aspects of TFAs consumption, as well as work on TFAs within the Codex subsidiary bodies. Nevzorov K. continued the topic with a presentation “Natural and industrial trans-fatty acids”.
The second part of the Round Table was devoted to the problems of rationing the residual amounts of veterinary drugs in livestock products. A National Coordinator for Codex Alimentarius, Professor Karsybekova N. spoke about the meaning of a “silent pandemic” of antibiotic resistance, highlighted the consequences of the thoughtless use of antibiotics in medicine, veterinary medicine and the food industry.
Further Razzarenov A. informed the participants of the Round Table about the current situation regarding the rationing of residual quantities of veterinary drugs in products of animal origin. In turn, the Contact Point of the RK for INFOSAN and RASFF Sharipov Z. elaborated on the work of the Codex Alimentarius Commission on food-borne AMR.
March 7-10, 2023, the 43rd session of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Using was held physically. The Session was attended by 60 Member Countries, one Member Organization and 29 Observer organizations.
The following issues have been considered at the session:
The report was adopted by the Committee on March 15, 2023 and posted on the Codex website.
The Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods (CCRVDF) held its 26th Session, in Portland, Oregon, United States of America, from 13 to 17 February 2023. The event was attended by representatives of 49 countries and 6 observer organizations. The following issues were discussed.
The above issues are of interest to Kazakhstan with regard to the approaches, criteria and procedures used in establishing MRLs, as well as current food safety trends and directions.
On February 6, 2023, an online pre-session meeting of the Codex Coordinating Committee for Europe (hereinafter – CCEURO) was held. The pre-session discussed items on the agenda of the 26th session of the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods (hereinafter – CCRVDF).
This was the first event hosted by Germany as CCEURO Regional Coordinator after Kazakhstan's chairmanship. The meeting was moderated by Germany Codex Contact Point – Chair Anne Beutling and attended by 20 representatives from countries in the European Region.
The European Union noted that it does not support the adoption of the proposed maximum residue limits (hereinafter – MRLs) for ivermectin. The MRLs for ivermectin for pork, sheep and goats proposed in the 94th report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (hereinafter – JECFA) are higher than previously recommended levels given in the 88th JECFA report. At the same time, the MRLs for pork and for liver and kidney of sheep and goats are lower than those in the European Union.
The CCRVDF session will be held in a physical format for the first time since COVID restrictions in Portland, Oregon, USA. It is possible to participate in the WEB-broadcast mode without the right to make comments. Link to the 26th session of the CCRVDF https://www.fao.org
As you know, from January 1, 2023, the chairmanship of the FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for Europe (CCEURO) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission will pass from Kazakhstan to the Federal Republic of Germany.
On October 19, 2022, an online meeting of the Codex Alimentarius Group of Kazakhstan with the Codex Contact Structure of Germany was held. The main issues included on the agenda were the lessons learned and experience gained in Kazakhstan's chairmanship of CCEURO, as well as discussion of the implementation of future plans.
Kazakhstan shared information on interaction with post-Soviet countries and their Codex of contact points for the period of two-time CCEURO chairmanship from 2017 to 2022. Approaches to improve the involvement of all CCEURO members in achieving the goals and objectives were discussed.
Germany provided information on ongoing work in preparation for the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) in January 2023.
The parties also discussed the vision for the implementation of the Support Measures for the implementation of the Activities to be implemented in the European Region in 2022-2023 under the Codex Strategic Plan 2020-2025, approved at the 32nd session of CCEURO.
Further collaboration with the Codex Trust Fund Secretariat, the FAO and WHO regional offices, and other Regional Coordinators and the Chair and Vice-Chairs of the Codex Alimentarius Commission was considered.
At the request of the Codex Contact Structure of Germany, Kazakhstan shared additional materials, presentations that were used during working visits to post-Soviet countries
An agreement was reached within the upcoming 45th session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (from November 21 to December 13, 2022) to hold a physical meeting of the Codex of Contact Points of all post-Soviet countries with the Federal Republic of Germany.
Kazakhstan Codex team held a review workshop on Codex Alimentarius issues on December, 22 2022.
Considered ministries, agencies, universities, business operators took part in this workshop.
Kazakhstan Codex team informed on Codex Alimentarius Commission structure, online codex tools, online commenting system, EWGs.
There was a lively discussion among workshop participants about the role and benefits of using Codex standards. The participants of the workshop spoke in favor of holding such seminars on a regular basis with the involvement of young employees. University professors spoke in favor of holding lecture courses, seminars with the participation of the Codex Alimentarius Team. The wish was expressed for a stable sustainable activity of Kazakhstan Codex Team in future.
A regular meeting of the Interagency Council was held under the chairmanship of the Deputy Chairman of the Sanitary and Epidemiological Control Committee of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan Rakhimzhanova M. The report of Professor Karsybekova N. was presented on the activities of the Codex Alimentarius Group for October-December 2022Э
Food hygiene experts Tolysbayeva Zh. and veterinary/phytosanitary Sharipov Z. reported on the work with national experts, the results and conclusions of a survey conducted among national experts on the topic of work on the Codex Alimentarius and within the framework of the relevant Committees supervised by them.
The Deputy Chairman of the CSEC proposed to schedule the next meeting of the Interagency Council to review the priority profile Committees of the Codex, as well as to determine the standards for products that are of interest to manufacturers of imported products, to bring them to the indicators of the Codex standards.
Deputy Head of the Coordination Center for Technical Regulation of the Committee for Technical Regulation and Metrology of the Ministry of Trade and Integration of the Republic of Kazakhstan Razzarenov A. offered cooperation in the framework of work with experts. The Coordinating Center has now assembled a professional team of expert analysts.
Director of the Department of Strategic Development of the RSE on the REM "National Center of Expertise" Alzhanov E. presented the vision of the work of the Codex Alimentarius Group for 2023-2025. at the National Center of Expertise. It is planned to include the Group in the staff of the enterprise to work in the sector of international cooperation and expand their functionality.
The Codex website hosts the annual digital edition of the Codex magazine for 2022. The magazine tells the major activities that have taken place from CAC44 to CAC45, through which CAC45 has been able to set over 20 standards that protect consumer health and facilitate trade.
The page 39 of the digital magazine is dedicated to the European region, there are photos of the Vice Ministers of Health Esmagambetova A. S. and Agriculture Kurmanov R. Zh., who delivered a welcoming speech at the 32nd session of CCEURO.
The main topic of CCEURO’32, chaired by Kazakhstan, was defined as “Sustainability of food systems and the role of Codex”. During the discussion, it was agreed that sustainability depends in part on cooperation and information sharing on emerging food safety issues in the region and that the One Health approach is an integral part of a sustainable, food and secure world. Other current and emerging issues were also discussed, including food fraud, which was the subject of a CCEURO side event, the COVID-19 pandemic, changing consumer demand, and emergency food safety strategies.
Regarding regional standards, CCEURO32 agreed to amend the text in the regional standard for chanterelles (CXS 40R-1981).
Azerbaijan has prepared a short summary of work under Codex. Thus, in 2020, Azerbaijan prepared a series of national standards based on the texts of the Codex. These include work on contaminants done with reference to the General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Food and Feed (CXS 193-1995); The MRLs for veterinary drugs are based on the Codex MRLs and are working on minimum quality and safety requirements for named vegetable oils which makes reference to the eponymous Codex text (CXS 210-1999).
The publication of the digital magazine has already become an integral tradition in the period of information technology on the eve of Codex sessions.