U.S. Codex News - April 22, 2011
A summary of recent and upcoming events published biweekly; direct inquiries to USCodex@fsis.usda.gov
Recent Committee Meetings
The Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) concluded its 43 rd Session on April 8. Approximately 600 draft maximum residue levels (MRLs) for pesticides were advanced to the Codex Commission for adoption at its 34 th Session in July 2011. The Committee also established two working groups in support of setting MRLs for high value specialty crops. (For details, see section on New Working Groups, below.)
The Committee on Fish and Fishery Products (CCFFP) concluded its 31st Session on April 16. The Committee agreed to forward the following standards to the Commission for adoption: Draft Standard for Fish Sauce, at step 8; Draft Code of Practice for Fish and Fishery Products (other Sections including Smoked Fish), at step 5/8; and Proposed Draft Amendment to Section 18.104.22.168 Water of the Code of Practice for Fish and Fishery Products, at step 5/8. For the latter, the Committee successfully incorporated the same language on chlorine agreed upon in the Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) for the Proposed Draft Guidelines for the Control of Campylobacter and Salmonella spp in Chicken Meat. The Committee also forwarded two standards to the Commission at step 5: Draft Standard for Fresh and Quick Frozen Raw Scallop Adductor Meat and the Proposed Draft Standard for Fresh/Live and Frozen Abalone. A new work proposal on a Code of Practice for Sturgeon Caviar, proposed by Iran, will be forwarded to the Commission for approval; another new work proposal on Lava Products, introduced by Korea, will be returned to CCASIA to be elaborated initially as a regional standard. The Committee established four electronic Working Groups (see section on New Working Groups, below).
Upcoming Committee Meetings:
The third and final meeting of the Codex Friends of the Chair is scheduled for April 26-27 in Beijing. The group was organized at the last Codex Commission meeting to seek a resolution for the impasse over the Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for the animal drug ractopamine in meat tissues. The United States, along with nine other countries and two observer organizations, is a member of the Committee.
The 39 th Session of the Committee on Food Labeling (CCFL) will meet in Quebec City, Canada, May 9-13. 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 G uidelines 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 Values.
A representative of the U.S. Codex Office will participate in a workshop to enhance the management capabilities of the National Codex Contact Points for the Pacific island members of the FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee on North America and the Southwest Pacific (CCNASWP). 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, Samoa. The workshop will also continue discussion, started at the 11 th Session of CCNASWP (September 2010), on a regional approach for the date marking of food.
New Working Groups:
The Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) established working groups to consider (1) the application of proportionality in MRL estimation and (2) the selection of representative crops for Codex commodity groupings.
The Committee on Fish & Fishery Products (CCFFP) established working groups for (1) Proposed Draft Revision of the Procedure for the inclusion of Additional Species in Standards for Fish and Fishery Products; (2) a discussion paper on Public Health Risk of Histamine from Fish and Fishery Products; (3) Screening methods for the proposed Draft List of Biotoxins in the Standard for Live and Raw Bivalve Molluscs; and (4) P roposed Food Additives Provisions in Standards for Fish and Fishery Products with a mandate to align with (and propose any necessary changes) the General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA).
The Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) established working groups on (1) the alignment of the food additive provisions of the standards for meat products and relevant provisions of the GSFA; (2) the horizontal approach for consideration of Table 1 and Table 2 provisions of the acidity regulators or emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners Table 3 food additives listed (hosted by the United States); (3) the revision of provisions of aluminum containing food additives in the GSFA; (4) the revision of name and descriptor of food category 16.0 of the GSFA (also hosted by the United States; (5) the use of note 161 in the GSFA; (6) the amendment to International Number System (INS); and (7) the re-evaluation of substances by JECFA. These working groups are expected to complete and submit their work to the Codex Secretariat before October 31, 2011.
New Request for Comments
Committee on Fats and Oils (CCFO): A Circular Letter (CL 2011/2-FO) was included in the Final Report from the 22 nd Session (February 2011) soliciting comments on Matters for Adoption by the 34th Session of the CommissionDraft Guidelines Step 8 and Steps 5/8 of the Procedure. The most recent session produced mixed results on a number of issues the Committee debated at length for years. This included advancing to Step 5/8 the Proposed Draft List of Acceptable Previous Cargoes, and advancing to Step 8 the Draft List of Acceptable Previous Cargoes, despite objections from numerous countries, including the United States. Interested parties should refer to the CCFO webpage (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/us-codex-alimentarius/committees-and-task-forces/commodity-committees/codex-committee-on-fats-and-oils/ct_index) for a link to the CL and submit comments to the U.S. Delegate via email by May 1, 2011.
Upcoming Public Meetings:
A public meeting will be held on April 25 from 2:00-5:00 PM to review and solicit comments on the draft U.S. positions for the items on the agenda for the 39th Session of the Committee on Food Labeling (CCFL). This meeting will be held in Room 107A of the Jamie Whitten Building of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., Washington, DC. Interested persons may also participate by teleconference by calling 888-858-2144, access code 6208658.
The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) will hold its 75 th meeting in Rome, Italy, November 7-17, 2011 to evaluate or re-evaluate eight chemical compounds at the recommendation of the Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods (CCRVDF). A call for data for governments, interested organizations, and producers of these chemicals, with a submission deadline of June 15, 2011, has been published on the FAO and WHO websites for JECFA: