Recent Committee Meetings:
The Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (CCFFV) concluded its 16th session on May 6 in
Mexico City. The Committee forwarded two standards to the Codex Commission (CAC) for adoption:
The Draft Standard for Tree Tomatoes at step 8 and the Draft Standard for Chili Peppers at step
5/8. The Committee also endorsed, and sent to the CAC for approval as new work, a project
document for golden passion fruit prepared by Colombia. The Committee advanced the Draft Standard
for Pomegranate to step 5, and it established an electronic working group, led by the United
States, to work on the sizing provisions and uniformity rules contained within the draft
pomegranate standard. The Draft Standard on Avocado was retained at step 7 pending finalization
of the sizing provisions. The Committee also decided to retain the Standard for Chanterelle
mushrooms as a regional standard within Europe due to limited trade outside of that region.
The Committee was unable to conclude discussion of the standard layout and will take up discussion
at its next session.
The Friends of the Codex Chair concluded their discussions on the proposed ractopamine maximum
residue limits (MRLs) in Beijing, April 26-27, with a decision to forward two proposals to the CAC
session in July. One proposal will be for adoption of the MRLs as recommended by the Committee on
Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods (CCRVDF) for muscle, liver, kidney, and fat in pork and beef.
The other proposal would defer to 2016 consideration of the MRLs by the CAC, with a series of
activities proposed for the interim. Among these are a JECFA evaluation of data from China in order
to recommend an MRL for lung tissue and a JECFA review of the components of the food basket that
is used as a basis for its recommendations. Both of these activities are underway with support
from the United States, but the United States and others do not consider it necessary to complete
them before adopting the recommended MRLs now before the CAC.
Upcoming Committee Meetings:
The Committee on Food Labeling (CCFL) begins opens its 39th Session Quebec City, Canada, on May
9. The agenda features proposed revisions of the Guidelines on Nutrition Labeling, the Guidelines
on Nutrition and Health Claims, standardized symbols, and mandatory nutrition labeling to implement
the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. Also on
the agenda are proposed revisions to the Guidelines for the Production, Processing, Labeling and
Marketing of Organically Produced Foods; the labeling of foods and food ingredients obtained through
certain technique of genetic modification; and proposed draft definitions of Nutrient Reference
CCAfrica: A group of 20 officials who work on Codex issues in 9 African countries (Cameroon,
Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Zambia) and the African
Union’s Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) will visit Washington, May 16-25, for
a mentoring program organized by the U.S. Codex Office, the Joint Institute for Food Safety and
Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN), and the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service. The visiting officials are,
typically, the chairperson of the national committee that sets a country’s policy on Codex issues,
and the manager of the office of the Codex contact point. The purpose of the program is to provide
advice for enhancing African participation in Codex meetings. The program will feature meetings
with U.S. Codex Office staff and discussions with U.S. Delegates, Alternate Delegates, and other
government experts, as well as meetings with representatives from the Food Industry Codex Coalition
(FICC) and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). This mentorship program is a
follow-up to a sequence of bilateral workshops that were held in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana,
Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, and Zambia from 2008 to 2010.
CCNASWP: Members of the Coordinating Committee on North America and the Southwest Pacific will
participate in a workshop to enhance the management capabilities of the National Codex Contact
Points for the Pacific island countries. The workshop is being organized by the FAO in collaboration
with Australia, New Zealand and the United States, and it will take place, May 10-12, in Apia,
New Working Groups:
The Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) inaugurated two electronic working groups (eWG), whose
recommendations will be considered at the next session of CCFA:
- Aluminum-containing food additives - The eWG is charged with making recommendations on
the adoption, discontinuation or revocation of maximum use levels for sodium aluminum
phosphates, aluminum ammonium sulfate, sodium aluminum silicate, calcium aluminum silicate, and
aluminum silicate in the General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA). Brazil is leading this eWG
and invites member countries and observer organizations that are interested in participating to
contact firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by May 13.
- Discussion Paper on Composite Foods Category - The eWG is charged with developing a detailed
description of the products to be included in the food category and proposals for the revision of
the name and descriptor of the food category to better reflect the nature of these products.
The United States is leading this eWG and requests that member countries and observer
organizations interested in joining the eWG contact firstname.lastname@example.org by June 17.
The Secretariats of the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Microbiological Risk Assessment (JEMRA) issued
a call for data and experts on foodborne parasitic diseases. This call responds to the decision at
the 42nd Session of the Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) to undertake new work to elaborate "Guidelines
for Control of Specific Zoonotic Parasites in Meat: Trichinella spiralis and Cysticercus bovis,"
pending approval at the 34th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission in July. Deadline for
submissions is July 31, and the links to the FAO and WHO announcements are:
Previous Codex News: