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Codex News - May 16, 2014

Recent Committee Meetings

Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR):  The Committee recently concluded its 46th Session in Nanjing, China, which met from May 5-10, 2014. The Session was attended by delegates from 59 Member countries and one Member organization and Observers from 10 international organizations.  Some of the key outcomes are described in greater detail below.

  • MRL Adoption
    • 343 MRLs for 32 pesticides were advanced to Step 8 for adoption by the Commission, including 11 new compounds (3 of these were nominated by the United States). 

  • Proposed Draft Revision of the Classification of Food and Feed: Other Selected Commodity Groups
    • With regard to Group 011 (Fruiting vegetables, Cucurbits) the Committee discussed the proposal of the EWG to divide the Group in three new subgroups:
      • 11A Fruiting vegetables, Cucurbits – Cucumber and Summer Squashes
      • 11B Fruiting vegetables, Cucurbits – Melons
      • 11C Fruiting vegetables, Cucurbits – Winter squashes
    • The Committee was not able to agree on the proposed subgroupings and will request comments on which characteristics to accept for crop grouping of fruiting vegetables, cucurbits and legumes vegetables.
    • The Committee agreed to reconvene the EWG, led by the Netherlands and the United States, to revise proposals for Group 011 (Fruiting vegetables, cucurbits) and for Group 014 (Legume vegetables) and to proceed with the elaboration of additional commodity groups for consideration at the next Session.
  • Proposed Draft Guidelines on Performance Criteria Specific for Methods of Analysis for the Determination of Pesticide Residues
    • The Committee noted that additional work was still necessary on some areas of the document and therefore agreed to re-establish the EWG, led by the United States and co-chaired by China and India, to further revise the Guidelines, taking into consideration relevant CCRVDF and CCMAS documents.

  • Revision of the Risk Analysis Principles Applied by the CCPR
    • The Committee finalized the document and agreed to forward the revised Risk Analysis Principles applied by the CCPR to the 37th Session of the Commission for approval and inclusion in the Procedural Manual (Appendix XIII).
    • The delegations from the FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean (CCLAC) attending the Session (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico and Paraguay), issued a statement indicating that they supported the document, but had deep concerns that the new periodic review procedure would still not prevent pesticide MRLs from being revoked, with no scientific evidence indicating health dangers.  In addition, they stated that this was inconsistent with the Working Principles for Risk Analysis for Application in the framework of the Codex Alimentarius and the risk analysis principles developed by other Codex committees.

  • Discussion Paper on Guidance to Facilitate the Establishment of Maximum Residue Limits for Pesticides for Minor Uses and Specialty Crops 
    • The Committee agreed to seek feedback from the 2014 JMPR on the criteria, methodology and crop lists and whether the proposed approach could be used as a starting point in determining the number of trials considered necessary in the setting of MRLs for minor crops (Appendix XIV).
    • The Committee agreed to establish an EWG, led by France and working in English only, to:
      • refine the list of commodities in Tables 1 and 2 (CRD 22) through the development of additional criteria for a limited set of borderline crops.
      • continue to identify issues and find solutions to facilitate the establishment of MRLs for minor crops based on establishment of Codex schedules and priority lists of pesticides.

Electronic Working Groups (eWG)

Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) invites member countries and observers to join an EWG, chaired by Argentina and co-chaired by Greece, working in both English and Spanish, to prepare a proposed draft standard for oregano for consideration at the next Session.  

Individuals in the United States interested in participating should provide their name, official title, and e-mail address to the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) by May 28, 2014.  Individuals in other Member countries and organizations interested in participating should forward their information directly to María Florencia Demarco (ewgcodexoregano@minagri.gob.ar and fdemarco@senasa.gov.ar) and to Eirini Tsigarida (etsigarida@efet.gr) with a copy to George Marakis (gmarakis@efet.gr) and the Codex Contact Point of Greece (codex@efet.gr) by May 30, 2014.

Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) invites members and observers to join the following eWGs:

Grape Wines: Led by France and working in English only, to request information on the actual levels of use in Food Additive Provisions of Food Category 14.2.3 “Grape Wines” and its Sub-categories, including sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (INS 466) and excluding calcium carbonate (INS 170 (i)), and to prepare recommendations on a case-by-case basis for consideration by the 47th CCFA.  The eWG will collect information on the technological function and use level (GMP or numerical) of the provisions listed in CRD2 of Appendix VI to the most recent Session report.

Individuals in the United States interested in participating should provide their name, official title, and e-mail address to the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) by June 6, 2014.  Individuals in other Member countries and organizations interested in participating should forward their information directly to Bernard Proton (bernard.proton@dgccrf.finances.gouv.fr) and Quentin Guyonnet-Dupérat (quentin.guyonnet-duperat@dgccrf.finances.gouv.fr) by June 10, 2014.

Note 161 of the GSFA: Led by the United Kingdom with the assistance of the United States, working in English only, to request information on the effect of the application of the following Note: “For use only in energy-reduced food or food with no added sugars as defined in CAC/GL 23-1997” to provisions for sweeteners contained in Appendix 8 of FA/45 CRD 2. The EWG will utilize this information to determine if the application of this Note on a general basis for provisions for sweeteners in specific food categories is appropriate, or if alternative Notes can be developed to address concerns for the provisions for sweeteners in specific food categories when the replacement Note is not appropriate. The EWG can make recommendations on:

  • The amendment of adopted provisions;
  • Progression of provisions within the Step process;
  • Progression of new provisions into the Step process.

Individuals in the United States interested in participating should provide their name, official title, and e-mail address to the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) by May 28, 2014.  Individuals in other Member countries and organizations interested in participating should forward their information directly to Glynis Griffiths (Glynis.griffiths@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk) and Stephen Johnson (Stephen.johnson@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk) by May 30, 2014.

General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA): Led by the United States, working in English only, to proposals for the following:

i) provisions in Tables 1 and 2 of the GSFA for Table 3 food additives with “emulsifier, stabilizer, thickener” function, for their use for technological function other than as “emulsifier, stabilizer, thickener”; and

ii) provisions in Table 1 and 2 in food categories 01.2 through 08.4, with the exclusion of food categories 04.1.2.4 (Canned or bottled (pasteurized) fruit), 04.2.2.4 (Canned or bottled (pasteurized) or retort pouch vegetables (including mushrooms and fungi, roots and tubers, pulses and legumes, and aloe vera), and seaweeds), 04.2.2.5 (Vegetable (including mushrooms and fungi, roots and tubers, pulses and legumes, and aloe vera), seaweed, and nut and seed purees and spreads (e.g. peanut butter)), 04.2.2.6 (Vegetable (including mushrooms and fungi, roots and tubers, pulses and legumes, and aloe vera), seaweed, and nut and seed pulps and preparations (e.g. vegetable desserts and sauces, candied vegetables) other than food category 4.2.2.5), 05.1.1 (Cocoa mixes (powders) and cocoa mass/cake), 05.1.3 (Cocoa-based spreads, including fillings), and 05.1.4 (Cocoa and chocolate products), for those food additives without “colour” or “sweetener” function.

Individuals in the United States interested in participating should provide their name, official title, and e-mail address to the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) by June 16, 2014.  Individuals in other Member countries and organizations interested in participating should forward their information directly to Dr. Susan Carberry (ccfa@fda.hhs.gov) by June 20, 2014.

International Numbering System (INS):  Led by Iran, working in English only, to consider the replies to the Circular Letter (CL 2011/9-FA) requesting proposals for changes and/or additions to the INS list; and to prepare a proposal for circulation for comments at Step 3.  

Individuals in the United States interested in participating should provide their name, official title, and e-mail address to the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) by June 12, 2014.  Individuals in other Member countries and organizations interested in participating should forward their information directly to Dr. Behzad Marandi (bmarandi@arianprocess.com) by June 15, 2014. Please note the deadline for comments on the INS issues detailed in CL 2011/9-FA is September 15, 2014.

Codex Committee on Fats and Oils (CCFO) invites members and observers to join an eWG, to be chaired by the United States, working in English only, to prepare a revised project document for new work to amend the Codex Standard for Named Vegetable Oils [CODEX STAN 210-1999] to include high oleic soyabean oil, which has improved functionality and nutritional benefits due to its high oleic acid content. The amendment would enable Codex member countries and the food industry to appropriately characterize, name, and market high oleic soyabean oil developed for improved functional and nutritional benefits for consumers and the food processing industry. The revised discussion paper, including a project document, will be prepared in time for consideration at the next session of the CCFO.

Interested Codex members and observers should provide the name, official title, and e-mail address of their representatives to the U.S Delegate to CCFO, Paul South (paul.south@fda.hhs.gov), U.S. Alternate Delegate to CCFO, Robert Moreau (robert.moreau@ars.usda.gov), and the U.S. Codex Office Representative, Marie Maratos (marie.maratos@fsis.usda.gov) by June 6, 2014.

Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS)

Explanatory Notes:  Led by Germany with assistance of New Zealand and the Netherlands, working in English only, to integrate explanatory notes into CAC/GL 83-2013; and to further develop text for Principles 4 and 6, and introductory text to link the Principles to the annex on practical examples.  The Committee noted that CAC/GL 83-2013 was not open for discussion nor should be revised, but that the integration of the explanatory notes may result in some consequential changes. 

Individuals in the United States interested in participating should provide their name, official title, and e-mail address to the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) by June 26, 2014.  Individuals in other Member countries and organizations interested in participating should forward their information directly to Claus Wiezorek:  claus.wiezorek@cvua-mel.de before June 30, 2014.  Please note that each country/member country may nominate one participant (with up to three guests) to the EWG.

Criteria Approach for Methods: Led by the United Kingdom, working in English only, on the development of a criteria approach for methods which use a “sum of components”. The paper will evaluate and discuss current options, consider general guidelines, and evaluate criteria for use on a case-by-case basis.

Individuals in the United States interested in participating should provide their name, official title, and e-mail address to the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) by June 26, 2014.  Individuals in other Member countries and organizations interested in participating should forward their information directly to Dr Andrew Damant (andrew.damant@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk) and copied to Mrs. Chelvi Leonard (chelvi.leonard@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk) before June 30, 2014. 

Last Modified May 30, 2014