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U.S. Codex News—Friday, September 20, 2013

New Electronic Working Groups (eWG)

Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS) invites Codex members and observers to join an eWG, working in Spanish and English, chaired by the United States of America, to prepare a revised project document and an outline for the proposed Principles and Guidelines for Monitoring Regulatory Performance of National Food Control Systems. Countries and organizations interested in participating should provide the name, official title, and email address of their representatives by September 27, 2013, to the U.S. Codex Office (CCFICS-EWG@fsis.usda.gov).

Committee on Fats and Oils (CCFO) invites Codex members and observers to join an eWG, chaired by Malaysia and working in English only, to review the lists of acceptable previous cargoes and to prepare a report for consideration by a physical Working Group (pWG) which will meet immediately prior to the next CCFO Session, scheduled for February 2015. The specific terms of reference for the eWG are:

  • To review available data of each substance on the ability to be adequately cleaned between cargoes as required by criterion 1.
  • To compile available information for each substance against criteria 2, 3 and 4.
  • To identify substances which meet all the criteria and recommend them as acceptable.
  • To identify and if necessary, prioritize substances to be submitted to JECFA for evaluation.
  • To consider proposals from Members on new substances to be added to the List provided such proposals are supported by adequate and relevant information provided by the proponent.
  • To identify substances currently on the List not carried as previous cargoes and recommend to the Committee that they be removed from the List.

Countries and organizations interested in participating should provide the name, official title, and e-mail address of their representatives to: ccfo_malaysia@moh.gov.my with a copy to: zailina.am@moh.gov.my  before October 18, 2013.  Parties in the United States interested in contributing to the U.S. participation should contact the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) by October 11, 2013. 

Request for Information

Committee on Contaminants (CCCF): The eWG on the Discussion Papers on the Development of a Code Of Practice to Prevent and Reduce Arsenic in Rice and on the Proposals for Maximum Levels for Inorganic Arsenic in Rice has made a call for data in rice and rice cultivation. The eWG, co-chaired by Japan and China, requests that the data be submitted using a specifically designed template. For further information on the template and eWG instructions, please contact the U.S. Codex Office at USCodex@fsis.usda.gov.  

Request for Comments

Committee on Fish and Fishery Products (CCFFP)

Comment Deadline Extension:   The CCFFP has issued a deadline extension, for the submission of comments to CL 2012/31-FFP (attached to REP 13/FFP; and available at ftp://ftp.fao.org/codex/reports/Reports_2013/) on proposed draft Standards and related texts at Step 6: 

  • Draft Section 4 Food Additives in the Standard for Smoked Fish, Smoke-Flavoured Fish and Smoke-Dried Fish; and
  • Draft Standard for Raw, Fresh, and Quick Frozen Scallop Products

Countries and organizations interested in providing comments should send them to the Codex Secretariat (codex@fao.org) by October 31, 2013.  Parties in the United States interested in contributing to the U.S. response should contact the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) as soon as possible. 

Appendices:   The 32nd Session of CCFFP considered a paper prepared by the Secretariat on the finalization of several appendices on optional final product requirements for commodities in the Code of Practice for Fish and Fishery Products (CAC/RCP 52-2003).   The CCFFP agreed to continue working on Appendix I and that the other Appendices already drafted would be circulated through a circular letter (CL 2013/27-FFP) to request comments on:

  • Their relevance;
  • If needed, then whether the information in the appendices could be integrated into the body of the Code or a relevant standard; or retained as appendices to the Code; and
  • Proposals for text for the appendices not yet elaborated.

Countries and organizations interested in providing comments should send them to the Codex Secretariat (codex@fao.org) with a copy to the Norwegian Codex Contact Point (CCFFP@mattilsynet.no) by November 30, 2013.  Parties in the United States interested in contributing to the U.S. response should contact the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) as soon as possible. 

Biotoxins:  The 32nd Session of CCFFP advanced to Step 5 the Proposed Draft Performance Criteria for Reference and Confirmatory Methods for Marine Biotoxins in the Standard for Live and Raw Bivalve Molluscs.  The same session also forwarded the Proposed Draft Performance Criteria to the Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS) for endorsement.  CCMAS, however, did not endorse the criteria and encouraged CCFFP to provide information on the toxicity equivalent factors for all biotoxins listed in the Standard.  Consequently, a Circular Letter (CL2013/16-FFP) was issued requesting comments at Step 6 on the Draft Performance Criteria for Reference and Confirmatory Methods for Marine Biotoxins in the Standard for Live and Raw Bivalve Molluscs. CCMAS also requests that information on the toxicity equivalent factors for all biotoxins listed in the standard should also be provided.

Countries and organizations interested in providing comments should send them to the Codex Secretariat (codex@fao.org) with a copy to the Norwegian Codex Contact Point (CCFFP@mattilsynet.no) by November 30, 2013.  Parties in the United States interested in contributing to the U.S. response should contact the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) as soon as possible.  The document is available at the following address:  ftp://ftp.fao.org/codex/reports/reports_2013/REP13_FFPe.pdf.

Upcoming Workshops

Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS):   At its 20th Session in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the Committee discussed the following work:

  • Burden of Multiple Questionnaires Directed at Exporting Countries for Initiating Market Access (led by Costa Rica), and
  • Monitoring Regulatory Performance of National Food Control Systems (led by the United States).

During the discussion on the monitoring of regulatory performance, the Chairperson noted that regional workshops could be an efficient tool to demystify and clarify the intent of the proposal. In view of this and the discussion on the proposal relating to the burden of multiple questionnaires, the Committee agreed to hold two workshops to allow for extensive discussion on both topics.  

The first workshop will take place in San José, Costa Rica, from December 3-6, 2013, allowing two days of discussion on each topic.  Interpretation in English and Spanish will be available at the meeting.  A second workshop is planned for February 3-5, 2014, in Brussels, Belgium, with one day of discussion on the burden of questionnaires and two days of discussion on monitoring the performance of national food control systems. Interpretation in French, English and Spanish will be available at this meeting.

Participants should register through their Codex Contact Point using the online registration system http://www.codexmeetingmanager.com/. Alternately, please contact Codex Australia (Codex.contact@daff.gov.au) for registration information by October 15, 2013 for the Costa Rica Workshop.   Registration for the Belgium Workshop is not yet open, but Codex Members will be advised when the online system is open for registrations.  Member delegations are limited to a maximum of 3 people due to limited meeting space.  Parties in the United States interested in contributing to the U.S. response should contact the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) as soon as possible.

Other News

Codex Trust Fund:  The FAO/WHO Project and Fund for Enhanced Participation in Codex has issued a Call for Expression of Interest for the Final Project Evaluation of the Codex Trust Fund. The purpose of the final project evaluation is to evaluate the functioning and results of the Codex Trust Fund after ten and a half years of its 12-year lifespan. The results of the final project evaluation will be used, along with other sources of information, to inform discussions in FAO/WHO and among Codex Member States, on possible future measures that may be necessary to enhance further the effective participation in Codex by developing and transition economy countries. For consideration, please submit applications by October 15, 2013.  Additional information may be found at:  http://www.who.int/foodsafety/codex/CallForExpressionOfInterest.pdf

Call for Data:  A call for data has been issued for the 79th Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), scheduled for June 17-26, 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland, which will be dedicated to the evaluation of food additives, including flavorings.  Interested sponsors and governments should submit data in response to this call by December 1, 2013.   The Call for Data is available on the FAO and WHO JECFA websites as follows:

 

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Last Modified Sep 20, 2013