Codex Alimentarius

[FSC 816, Section 730]


WELCOME to the preview of the course on Codex Alimentarius. This is a 3 credits, graduate or undergraduate level college course offered by Michigan State University. The course is presented completely over the Internet. The Lead Instructor for the course this course is Dr. P. Vincent Hegarty, Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of the Institute for Food Laws & Regulations at Michigan State University. Professor Hegarty is joined by several distinguished guest instructors from Codex Alimentarius, the World Health Organization,  the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, a developing country, and a food industry organization. There is also a Course Manager, Mary Anne Verleger, who will be available to help with any and all concerns regarding this course.

Course Objective:

The objective of this course is to familiarize the students with the history, development and workings of the Codex Alimentarius Commission in formulating and harmonizing food standards and ensuring their global implementation.  The Codex Alimentarius Commission, a joint FAO and WHO body, develops harmonized, international food standards, guidelines, and codes of practice. The two-fold mission is to protect the health of the consumers and ensure fair trade practices in the food trade.  

Interest in a safe global food supply has put Codex at the center of many of today’s most important food issues. Biotechnolgy, pesticide residues, food additives, and contaminants are a few of these.  Reference to the Codex food safety standards in the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures (SPS Agreement) means that Codex has an important role in resolving trade disputes. 

Codex Alimentarius includes:

  • food standards for commodities (237+)
  • codes of hygiene or technological practice (41+)
  • guidelines for contaminants (25+)
  • evaluations on pesticides (185+)
  • evaluations on food additives (1,005+)
  • evaluations on veterinary drugs (54+)
  • and limits for pesticide residues (3,274+)

Course Design:

The course is taught in a series of sections or ” Modules”.  Each Module lasts one week and represents a specific topic or issue.  A new modules will be uploaded each week.  You will have one week to read the materials and complete the assignment.  Once uploaded, the Modules will remain online throughout the duration of the course so you can always go back in case you miss a week.  
Here’s a sample Index of the Modules in this course.  The Module Index may change with each semester.

Module 1
Getting Started in a Web Course - 
Overview of Course
P. Vincent Hegarty, Lead Instructor
 Mary Anne Verleger, Course Manager

Module 2

Module 3

What is Codex Alimentarius?
Alan Randall, Secretary (retired)
Codex Alimentarius Commission

Some Key Codex Documents
P. Vincent Hegarty, Lead Instructor

Module 4 General Subject Committees
P. Vincent Hegarty, Lead Instructor
Module 5 Commodity Committees
P. Vincent Hegarty, Lead Instructor
Module 6 Ad hoc International Task Forces
P. Vincent Hegarty, Lead Instructor
Module 7 Regional Coordinating Committees
P. Vincent Hegarty, Lead Instructor
Module 8 Codex, Food Safety and WHO
Gerry Moy (Retired)
World Health Organization
Module 9 Codex and International Trade
Christine Wolff
World Trade Organization
Module 10

Codex and Developing Countries
Thouraya Annabi Attia

ONMNE - Ministère de la santé, Tunis, Tunisia

Pakdee Pothisire
Ministry of Public Health

Module 11 Codex and The World Bank
John S. Wilson
The Center for Global Enterprise
New York, NY USA
Module 12 Codex and the Food Industry
Peggy S. Rochette (Retired)
National Food Processors Association
Module 13

Course Review/Comments on Codex:
Readings From Peer Reviewed Journals/
Final Examination
P. Vincent Hegarty, Lead Instructor


Your assignments will be due the following week and can be submitted automatically using our course assignment drop box feature or by email, fax or regular mail.  Grades are posted electronically and sent to you by email.  Class participation is accomplished by means of synchronous and asynchronous Internet communication technologies such as written Discussion Forums and a real time chatroom.


So there you have it. It should take an average of nine to twelve hours per week to complete a module.  You simply go online at the beginning of each week or whenever it is convenient for you and a new module will be waiting.  Read the materials, explore the hyperlinked and other Internet-based resources, complete the assignment, upload it in the course assignment drop box and with the click of a mouse you’re done for the week. Fourteen weeks later, you have completed the course.

What if you’re called out of town for a week or are otherwise unable to access or complete a module within the one week time limit?  Time extensions can be granted.

If you are looking for a convenient way to continue your education and are interested in or need information regarding the Codex Alimentarius and its influence on global trade, this is the course for you. 

Just click here [How to Enroll] to get started.  You may enroll directly online.

This course is currently offered spring and fall semesters.

For more information, see the Course Schedule


Copyright © 2016 MSU Board of Trustees