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U.S. Codex News - May 17, 2013

Recent Committee Meetings 

Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR): The 45th Session of CCPR, which met the week of May 6-11 in Beijing, China, accomplished numerous things. Some key outcomes include: 

  • endorsed the criteria developed by the electronic Working Group (eWG) for the use of proportionality in residue assessment;
  • reinstated the eWG on the Revision of the Risk Analysis Principles;
  • reinstated the eWG on the Guidance to Facilitate the Establishment of Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for Pesticides for Minor Crops/Specialty Crops;
  • approved new work on the Performance Criteria for Suitability Assessment of Methods of Analysis for Pesticide Residues;
  • agreed on the need for periodic reevaluations for MRLs and discussed procedures and time limits for such reevaluations;
  • supported the use of the global dataset approach for establishing MRLs however, several MRLs recommended based on the global dataset approach were held at Step 4, pending registration of the chemical in the region where the residue data originated; and
  • discussed the outcome of the Pilot Project for the Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) recommendation of MRLs before national governments or other regional registration authorities for a global joint review chemical. CCPR generally supported the use of global datasets in setting MRLs as recommended by the Pilot Project, but it elected not to advance all MRLS based on global datasets due to concerns raised that some registrations were still pending in regions where the residue data originated.


Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL): The 41st Session of CCFL, which met the week of May 14-17 in Prince Edward Island, Canada, achieved much progress. Some key outcomes include: 

  • returned to Step 3 the Guidelines for the Production, Processing, Labeling and Marketing of Organically Produced Foods—Organic Aquaculture;
  • approved the use of ethylene as a sprouting inhibitor for onions and potatoes for inclusion under the list of Substances for Plant Pest and Disease Control in Table 2 of the Guidelines for the Production, Processing, Labelling and Marketing of Organically Produced Foods;
  • replaced the labeling provisions of the Codex regional standard of Non-Fermented Soybean Products that provided for labeling of the use of genetically modified soybean with a general reference to Codex Guidance on the Labelling of Foods Derived from Modern Biotechnology. In contrast to the original labeling provision in the standard, this Codex guidance does not call for process-based labelling for foods derived from biotechnology;
  • accepted the new work proposal on date marking to consider review of the current definitions, guidance on the use of date of minimum durability, and storage instructions; and
  • declined the new work proposal on Labeling of Food Derived from Crops Biofortified by Natural Selection since the existing guidance is sufficient for such foods.


New Electronic Working Groups (eWG) 

Coordinating Committee for North America and the Southwest Pacific (CCNASWP) 
Kava: At its last Session, the Committee agreed to establish an electronic Working Group (eWG), led by Vanuatu, to prepare a revised version of the project document on a regional standard for kava, for consideration at the next session. The goals of the eWG are to:
 

  • amend the scope and use, to limit it to kava as the dried product that can be used as a beverage when mixed with water;
  • update trade and production data where available; and
  • reflect on the outcome of the FAO/WHO review of data in the relevant section of the project document.


Interested member countries and observer organizations should provide the names, affiliations, email addresses and telephone numbers of their official designated representatives to the Vanuatu Codex Contact Point (vccp@vanuatu.gov.vuand t.tumukon@phama.biz) by May 24, 2013. Parties in the United States interested in contributing to U.S. participation in the eWG should send their contact information to the U.S. Codex Office (uscodex@fsis.usda.gov) by May 22, 2013. 

Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS) 
Updating Methods: At its last Session, the Committee agreed to establish an eWG, led by Brazil, to prepare a discussion paper on the elaboration of procedures for regular updating of methods. The eWG's mandate is to propose the following: 
 

  • a format for a single source (document, database, etc.) to capture all methods in the scope of CCMAS;
  • a process to update the reference to methods of analysis, including work to be done by Codex commodity committees, the Interagency Meeting (IAM) and the Codex Secretariat; and
  • a plan to prioritize the (re)endorsement of current methods in Codex Standard 234: Recommended Methods of Analysis and Sampling and in the commodity committees.


Member Countries and observer organizations should provide the names, affiliations, email addresses and telephone numbers of their official designated representatives to Codex Brazil (codexbrasil@inmetro.gov.br) with a copy to Maria Rosane (rosane.maria@anvisa.gov.br) by no later than June 30, 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 (uscodex@fsis.usda.gov) by June 21, 2013. 

Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) 
INS: At its last Session, the Committee agreed to establish an eWG, led by Iran, working in English only, to consider replies to CL 2013/13 FA, which requests information and comments on proposals for changes/additions to the International Numbering System (INS) list. The eWG will also prepare a proposal for circulation for comments at Step 3. Interested Member Countries and observer organizations should provide the names, affiliations, email addresses and telephone numbers of their official designated representatives to Dr. Behzad Marandi (bmarandi@arianprocess.com) with a copy to Mrs. Banafesheh Nasiri (bn31518@yahoo.com) of the Iran Codex Secretariat, by June 15, 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 (uscodex@fsis.usda.gov) by June 10, 2013. 

GSFA Descriptors: At its last Session, the Committee agreed to establish an eWG, led by New Zealand, working in English only, with the following mandate: 
 

  • review the named dairy food category descriptors with a view to addressing the technological justification of emulsifiers, stabilizers and thickeners (E/S/T) in the following food categories: 01.1.1 “Milk and buttermilk (plain),” 01.1.1.1 “Milk (plain),” 01.1.1.2 “Buttermilk (plain),” and 01.1.2 “Dairy-based drinks, flavoured and/or fermented (e.g. chocolate milk, cocoa, eggnog, drinking yoghurt, whey-based drink);”
  • prepare recommendations to revise the relevant food category descriptors which do not allow the use of additives where the use of additives in such foods are technologically justified; and
  • prepare recommendations on a horizontal approach to the use of emulsifiers, stabilizers and thickeners in these food categories.


Interested Member Countries and observer organizations should provide the names, affiliations, email addresses and telephone numbers of their official designated representatives to Janet Goodman (janet.goodman@mpi.govt.nz) with a copy to the New Zealand Codex Contact Point (CodexNZ@mpi.govt.nz), by June 21, 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 (uscodex@fsis.usda.gov) by June 10, 2013. 

Food Additive Intakes: At its last Session, the Committee agreed to establish an eWG, led by Brazil, working in English only, to start new work on the revision of the Guidelines for the Simple Evaluation of Food Additive Intakes (CAC/GL 3-1989). The scope of the work is to assist member countries, especially developing countries, on their assessment of dietary exposure to food additives by reflecting current procedures in place to carry out such work in a simple way. Interested Member Countries and observer organizations should provide the names, affiliations, email addresses and telephone numbers of their official designated representatives to the Brazilian Codex Contact Point (ewg.codex@anvisa.gov.br and codexbrasil@inmetro.gov.br) by June 21, 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 (uscodex@fsis.usda.gov) by June 10, 2013. 

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Last Modified Sep 10, 2013