U.S. Codex News—Friday, February 08, 2013
A summary of recent and upcoming events published biweekly; direct inquiries to USCodex@fsis.usda.gov
Coordinating Committee on Africa (CCAFRICA) concluded its 20th session on February 1 in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The Committee discussed the following:
- Processed Cheese: The Committee clarified that safety concerns in processed cheese could be addressed through the relevant Codex horizontal standards. The Committee encouraged member countries to respond to the Circular Letter CL 2012/24 CAC to identify any gaps in the quality and safety provisions of Codex texts which would apply to processed cheese. If significant gaps where identified within the region, the Committee would review the need for a regional standard.
- Proposal for a Spice Committee: The Committee, after reviewing a presentation from the delegation of India, noted its support for the creation of a Codex Committee for Spices. However, several delegations expressed concern at the lack of funds to attend additional Codex meetings and asked that consideration should be given to co-hosting the Spice Committee on the African continent. The committee noted Nigeria's offer to co-host the Committee with India.
- Nomination of the Coordinator: The Delegation of Cote d'Ivoire, supported by many other delegations, proposed to nominate Cameroon as Coordinator for a second term. After some discussion on the needs of the region with regards to communication, representation at meetings, and elevating the profile of Codex in the region, the Committee elected Cameroon for a second term.
Task Force on Animal Feeding (TFAF) concluded its 7th Session in Bern, Switzerland, on February 8. The TFAF recommended two documents for adoption by the Codex Alimentarius Commission at Step 5/8 at its next session in July 2013: Draft Guidelines for the Application of Risk Assessment for Feed and Proposed Draft Guidance for Use by Governments in Prioritizing National Feed Hazards. These two documents complete the work authorized by the Commission in the terms of reference that re-activated the Task Force in 2011.A more detailed report by the U.S. Delegate to the Task Force will be published soon at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/us-codex-alimentarius/recent-delegation-reports
Upcoming Public Meetings
Committee on Food Additives (CCFA)
The U.S. Codex Office will convene a public meeting on February 11 to review the agenda for the next session of CCFA and outline draft U.S. positions. The public meeting is scheduled for 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Harvey Wiley Building, Rooms 1A-001 & 1A-002, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740. Conference call information will be provided to registered attendees who do not plan to attend in person. The next Session of CCFA is scheduled for March 18-22 in Beijing, China.
Executive Committee (CCEXEC)
The Sub-Committee of the CCEXEC charged with preparing the new draft Codex Strategic Plan (2014-2019) will meet in Ottawa, Canada from March 10-12. The CCEXEC group will take as its starting point the version of the Strategic Plan that was considered by the FAO/WHO Regional Coordinating Committees in their recent sessions, review all new comments and suggestions received, and develop a final draft Strategic Plan for consideration by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in July. The U.S. Codex Office will participate as the North American regional representative to the CCEXEC Sub-Committee meeting, and Canada will be represented as an advisor. Interested parties in the United States are welcome to send comments on the draft Strategic Plan to the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) by March 1, for consideration prior to the meeting. A copy of the draft Strategic Plan is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/us-codex-alimentarius/committees-and-task-forces/regional-coordinating-committees/north-america-and-the-south-west-pacific/ct_index
Electronic Working Groups (eWG)
Coordinating Committee for Asia (CCASIA)
Laver Products: The CCASIA has invited Member countries and observer organizations to join an eWG, led by the Republic of Korea and co-chaired by Japan, working in English only, to prepare a proposed draft standard for laver products and to consider whether a general reference to the Codex General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Food and Feed (GSCTFF) is sufficient for laver products. Individuals in the United States interested in contributing to the eWG should send their name, official title, and email address to the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov). Codex Member countries and observer organizations interested in participating in this eWG should provide the name(s), official title, and email address of their representative(s) directly to firstname.lastname@example.org and Haruo_tominaga@nm.maff.go.jp by March 15.