Codex News - April 18, 2014
A summary of recent and upcoming events published biweekly; direct inquiries to USCodex@fsis.usda.gov
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Recent Committee Meetings
Committee on General Principles. The 28th session of the Codex Committee on General Principles (April 11 – 17, 2014) was a very productive session in which the committee:
- endorsed the use of a Concern Form by the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods;
- reviewed the report on the Facilitated Discussion on Root Causes of Standards held at Step 8 (short of final adoption), and in keeping with the Terms of Reference, concluded that no further action was required;
- proposed minor amendments to the Procedural Manual regarding cooperation between General Subject Committees and Commodity Committees for approval by the 37th session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC);
- issued guidance on a new category of documents, “Information Documents,” developed by Codex committees; and
- proposed that the Executive Committee develop a process to review the work management systems and practices of Codex consistent with Goal 4 of the recently adopted Codex Strategic Plan.
The Committee reviewed a discussion paper on whether there was a need to develop economic impact statements which would be considered in the development of Codex standards. The Committee decided that the current provisions in the Procedural Manual were sufficient to allow for appropriate consideration of economic factors.
A physical working group on Codex/World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Cooperation reviewed a draft guidance document on OIE/CODEX cooperation developed by an electronic working group. The Committee forwarded guidance on promoting collaboration between the CAC and the OIE to the CAC for endorsement. It was noted that this collaboration would not include joint standards and that nothing in the guidance was intended to be used in or incorporated into any legal agreements.
A discussion on the role of the Chair and Vice-Chairs of the CAC was limited due to the fact that the paper on this issue was not issued until after the session began and was available in English only. The question centers around the meaning of the term “delegate” as used in Rule V.1, within the general context of the Rules of Procedure of the CAC. No decisions or recommendations were made by the Committee in light of the late document, but the issue may be discussed under the “Matters Referred” agenda item at the upcoming 37th session of the CAC.
Upcoming Committee Meetings
Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) will meet in Nanjing, China, May 5-10, 2014. In addition to recommending adoption of maximum residue limits for pesticides in foods and feeds, the Committee will review the draft revision of the classification of foods and animal feeds for selected vegetable groups and other commodities; the selection of representative commodities for inclusion in the Principles and Guidance for the Selection of Commodities for the Extrapolation of Maximum Residue Limits to Commodity Groups; draft guidance on performance criteria for methods of analysis for determination of pesticide residues; the revision of risk analysis principles applied by CCPR; guidance to facilitate the establishment of maximum residue limits for pesticides for minor and specialty crops; and a discussion paper on the applicability of maximum residue limits for citrus fruits to kumquats.
Electronic Working Groups
Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) has established two electronic working groups (eWGs):
The European Union and India will co-chair an eWG to develop a proposed draft standard for cumin. Member countries and observer organizations interested in participating in this eWG should send the name, official title, member country or organization, and email address of a representative to Codex@ec.europa.eu with copies to email@example.com and to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 15.
The European Union and Switzerland will co-chair an eWG to develop a proposed draft standard for thyme. Member countries and observer organizations interested in participating in this eWG should send the name, official title, member country or organization, and email address of a representative to Codex@ec.europa.eu with copies to email@example.com and to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 15.
Persons in the United States who are interested in participating in these eWG should send their name, official title, organization, and email address to the U.S. Codex Office (email@example.com) by May 9.