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U.S. Codex News—Friday, May 31, 2013

Recent Outreach Events 

Coordinating Committee on Africa (CCAFRICA): The U.S. Codex Office concluded a 3-day colloquium in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 24th. Delegates from the United States and African nations exchanged views on issues that will be addressed at the upcoming Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) and the Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Food (CCRVDF). The colloquium was hosted by the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) in conjunction with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation. Representatives from the following African countries participated: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Swaziland, The Gambia, Togo and Tanzania. This is the 6th colloquium the U.S. Codex Office has conducted with CCAFRICA since 2008. 

Upcoming Public Meeting 

Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is sponsoring a public meeting to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and draft U.S. positions to be discussed at the upcoming 36th Session of the CAC, which will be held in Rome, Italy, from July 1-5, 2013. The public meeting will be held on June 18, 2013, from 1-4 p.m. at the USDA Jamie L. Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Ave., Room 107-A, Washington, D.C. 20250. For individuals who would like to participate by telephone, please use the following Call-in Number: 1-888-858-2144; Participant Code: 6208658. Documents and agenda items related to the 36th Session will be accessible at the Codex website at:www.codexalimentarius.org

New Electronic Working Groups (eWG) 

Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) 
Grape Wines: At its last Session, the Committee agreed to establish an eWG, led by France, to prepare recommendations on the horizontal approach to the use of food additives with the technological function of “acidity regulators” and “emulsifier, stabilizer, thickener” in food category 14.2.3 “Grape wines” and its sub-categories. The eWG will also prepare recommendations for provisions and proposals for new provisions listed in food category 14.2.3 and its subcategories. Interested Member Countries and observer organizations should provide the names, affiliations, email addresses and telephone numbers of their official designated representatives to: quentin.guyonnet-duperat@dgccrf.finances.gouv.fr  (with a copy to : SGAE-CODEX-FR@sgae.gouv.fr) by May 31, 2013, or soon thereafter. 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) as soon as possible. 

Note 161 of the General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA): At its last Session, the Committee agreed to establish an eWG, led by the United Kingdom with the assistance of the United States of America, to facilitate progress in the consideration of the use of Note 161 in the GSFA—a footnote which allows exceptions based on national legislation of the importing country. Specifically, the eWG has been charged with identifying concerns regarding the use of Note 161 on sweeteners in specific food categories and the reasons for these concerns. Interested Member Countries and observer organizations should provide the names, affiliations, email addresses and telephone numbers of their official designated representatives to:  Glynis Griffiths (Glynis.griffiths@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk) and Stephen Johnson (Stephen.johnson@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk) with a copy to the UK Codex Contact Point (Codex@defra.gsi.gov.uk) 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 14, 2013. 

Circular Letters (CL) 

Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) Atits last Session, the Committee agreed to re-establish the Working Group for Establishment of CCFH Work Priorities, under the chairmanship of Vietnam with assistance of the United States of America. The WG will consider proposals for new work as well as the possible revision and/or revocation of existing codes of practice to be submitted in reply to a new Circular Letter, CL 2013/11-FH. In addition, this CL requests comments on the provisional criteria and their weighing values on the “forward workplan” and an evaluation of each workplan item. Interested member countries and observer organizations should send their comments Dr. Vu Ngoc Quynh (vungocquynh@vfa.gov.vn) of the Vietnam Codex Office and to Ms. Barbara McNiff (barbara.mcniff@fsis.usda.gov) of the U.S. Codex Office with a copy to the Codex Secretariat (codex@fao.org) by September 1, 2013. Parties in the United States who are interested in contributing to U.S. response should contact the U.S. Codex Office (uscodex@fsis.usda.gov) by August 9, 2013. 

Other News 

The Secretariat of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), with the assistance of the Codex Secretariat, is developing an OECD Explanatory Brochure on Pomegranate, based on the Codex Standard on Pomegranate to be adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission this July. The purpose of this brochure is to help quality control inspectors in producing and importing countries, as well as other stakeholders involved in international trade. At this time, the OECD Secretariat is requesting comments on the proposed brochure from the members of the Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (CCFFV) WG on Pomegranate. Comments should be submitted through the Codex Contact Points to the OECD Secretariat (csaba.gaspar@oecd.org) and the Codex Secretariat (gracia.brisco@fao.org) by June 21, 2013. Parties in the United States who are interested in contributing to U.S. response should contact the U.S. Codex Office (uscodex@fsis.usda.gov) by June 7, 2013. For reference, the Codex Standard for Pomegranate can be found in Appendix III of the Report of the 17th Session of CCFFV (REP13/FFV) at: http://www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en/

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Last Modified Sep 10, 2013