U.S. Codex News—Friday, July 12, 2013
Codex Alimentarius Commission: The 36th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission met in Rome, Italy, July 1-5, 2013. The Commission marked its 50th Anniversary and reached consensus on a Strategic Plan which will guide its work from 2014 through 2019. The CAC also:
- Established a new Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH).
- Approved several hundred new provisions for food additives and maximum residue limits for pesticides.
- Adopted 33 other standards at Step 8 and Step 5/8 (final adoption), and 10 additional standards at Step 5 (for further consideration by relevant committees).
- Agreed to the establishment of an electronic working group that would consider the feasibility of additional work on a standard for processed cheese.
- Adopted two texts on animal feed, completing the work of the Task Force on Animal Feeding.
- Called on the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) to consider expanding the donor base for the international, independent expert scientific review panels that provide the scientific advice needed to support Codex food safety standards.
- Noted the need for a successor initiative to the Codex Trust Fund to continue to support enhanced participation by developing countries in Codex work.
As a side event, the U.S. and the EU co-chaired a Facilitated Discussion on Root Causes of Standards Held at Step 8 (short of final adoption, with no clear path forward in some cases). This discussion was mandated by the 2012 Session of the Codex Committee on General Principles (CCGP) but was not part of the CAC agenda per se.
The U.S. Delegate’s Report provides more detail on this Session, and has been published at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/us-codex-alimentarius/recent-delegation-reports/delegate-report-36th-session-cac.
The official report of this session will soon be available at: http://www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en/
New Electronic Working Groups (eWG)
Committee on Contaminants in Foods (CCCF) agreed to establish an eWG, chaired by India, to prepare a discussion paper for consideration at the next session that defines the issue, identifies the available data, and specifies data requirements for establishing the maximum level (ML) for aflatoxins in ready-to-eat peanuts. Parties in the United States that are interested in contributing to the U.S. participation in the eWG should contact the U.S. Codex Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible. Interested Member Countries and observer organizations should provide the names, affiliations, email addresses and telephone numbers of their official designated representatives to: email@example.com with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 23, 2013.
Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection & Certification Systems (CCFICS) agreed to establish an eWG, led by Costa Rica, to revise the project document proposing new work on the development of a harmonized questionnaire (to address the burden of multiple questionnaires), taking into account the discussion at the CCFICS session in February 2013; and to prepare an outline of the proposed document for consideration at the next CCFICS session. Parties in the United States that are interested in contributing to the U.S. participation in the eWG should contact the U.S. Codex Office (email@example.com) as soon as possible. Interested Member Countries and observer organizations should provide the names, affiliations, email addresses and telephone numbers of their official designated representatives to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than July 22, 2013.
Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR): Japan requests Members to provide relevant consumption data on kumquat to perform further analysis to determine the appropriateness to include kumquats or to carry out additional dietary exposure assessment. At its session in May 2013, CCPR considered a Discussion Paper on the Review of the Commodity Groups in the Database for Maximum Residue Limits for Pesticides to Determine the Need for Revision of Relevant Group MRLs (revised fruit commodity groups of the Classification of Food and Animal Feed), and asked Japan to manage the data call. U.S. organizations that are interested in contributing to the U.S. response to this data call should provide their data to the U.S. Codex Office (email@example.com) by October 14. Observer organization should provide their data directly to the following addresses firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org by October 31, 2013.
Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) will host a working group meeting on pomegranate at the OECD headquarters in Paris, France, September 10-11, 2013. The purpose of this meeting is to review the contents of a draft explanatory brochure on the international standard on pomegranate, adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in July 2013. Parties in the United States that are interested in contributing to the U.S. participation in the eWG should contact the U.S. Codex Office (email@example.com) by August 23.