The Codex Alimentarius Commission was created in 1962 by FAO and WHO to develop food standards, guidelines and related texts such as codes of practice under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Program. The main purposes of this Programme are protecting health of the consumers and ensuring fair trade practices in the food industry, and promoting coordination of all work on food standards undertaken by international governmental and non-governmental organizations.

With the implementation of the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) and the Agreement of Technical Barriers to Trade, the Codex Alimentarius has become the global reference point for disputes in international food trade since the establishment of WTO in 1995.