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U.S. Codex News—Friday, February 22, 2013

A summary of recent and upcoming events published biweekly; direct inquiries to USCodex@fsis.usda.gov

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Recent Meetings

Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS) The 20th Session of CCFICS took place in Chiang Mai, Thailand, February 18-22, hosted by Australia and co-hosted by Thailand. Key outcomes:

  • Revision of Principles and Guidelines for the Exchange of Information in Food Safety Emergency Situations (CAC/GL 19-1995). The Committee agreed to establish an eWG Chaired by the United States of America working in English only and open to all Codex members and observers to: (I) revise the project document; and (ii) prepare an outline of the proposed revisions for consideration at its next session.
  • The draft and proposed Draft Principles and Guidelines for National Food Control Systems (N06-2009) Sections 1-3 were advanced to step 8 for adoption by the Commission. Section 4 had been revised by the physical Working Group which met in Grange, Ireland, in July 2012; after considerable discussion by the Committee, Section 4 was advanced to step 5/8 for adoption by the Commission.
  • Discussion Paper on Burden of Multiple Questionnaires Directed at Exporting Countries: The Committee agreed to establish an electronic Working Group (eWG) chaired by Costa Rica to: (I) revise the project document taking into account the revised proposal presented at the current session with a narrower scope; and (ii) prepare an outline of the proposed document for consideration at its next session.
  • Discussion Paper on Monitoring Regulatory Performance of National Food Control Systems: The Committee agreed that it was premature at this stage to advance the document to the Commission as new work. An eWG was established chaired by the United States to: (I) revise the project document; and (ii) prepare an outline of the proposed Principles and Guidelines for Monitoring Regulatory Performance for National Food Control Systems for consideration at the next session of the Committee.
  • Discussion Paper on the Need for Further Guidance on Food Safety Emergencies and on the Analysis of Proposed Change to CCFICS Texts on Emergencies and Rejections to Address Feed: The Committee agreed not to merge the two guidelines as this could create confusion between routine rejections against importing country standards and food safety emergency situations. The Committee further agreed to ensure the documents defined feed according to the definition in the Code of Practice on Good Animal Feeding (CAC/RCP 54-2004). The Committee will forward the draft amendments to the Principles and Guidelines for the Exchange of Information in Food Safety Emergency Situations (CAC/GL 19-1995) to the Commission for adoption at its next session. The Committee established an eWG chaired by the United States to: (I) revise the project document; and (ii) prepare an outline of the proposed revisions for consideration at its next session.
  • The Committee was of the opinion that the other proposed amendments needed further reflection and, therefore, agreed that the United States would, in consultation with other members, prepare a revised proposal for consideration at the next session.


Upcoming Meetings

Committee on Fats & Oils (CCFO) will hold its 23rd Session in Langkawi, Malaysia, February 25-March 1. The Committee will consider draft standards for fish oils and rice bran oil; five discussion papers on sunflower seed oils, cold pressed oils, high oleic soybean oil, palm oil with high oleic acid, limits for campesterol and content of delta-7 stigmastenol in olive oils and olive pomace oils; and a proposal for new work to amend to Codex Standard for Named Vegetable Oils to include provisions for High Stearic High Oleic (HSHO) sunflower oil. The U.S. Delegation will be lead by Martin Stutsman of FDA's Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition.

Committee on Methods of Analysis & Sampling (CCMAS) will hold its 34th Session in Budapest, Hungary, March 4-8. The Committee will consider endorsing methods of analysis provisions in Codex standards, proposed draft Principles for the Use of Sampling and Testing in International Food Trade, and a discussion paper on updating reference to method of analysis. Gregory Noonan of FDA's Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition will lead the U.S. Delegation.

Working Groups

Committee on General Principles (CCGP): The Committee invites Member countries and observer organizations to join an electronic working group (eWG), led by the United States, to propose criteria to be used in developing the draft guidance for determining which documents should be made available on the Codex Alimentarius website. Member countries and observer organizations that are interested in participating in the eWG should ask their national Codex contact point to provide to their name, official title, and email address to the U.S. Codex Office ( USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) with a copy to Barbara.McNiff@fsis.usda.gov on or before Friday, March 1, 2013. Individuals in the United States interested in contributing to the eWG should send the same information to the same addresses. Participants also are asked to provide examples of documents which would be very useful to Codex Members, but are not widely available because, while the documents were developed by Codex committees, these documents are not formally adopted by the Codex Commission.

Committee on Processed Fruits and Vegetables (CCPFV):

The Republic of Korea and Canada invite all member countries and observer organizations to participate in an eWG, working in English only, to develop the proposed draft standard for Ginseng Products, that would convert a regional standard to a global standard. Interested member countries and observer organizations should provide name, affiliation, email address and telephone number of their official designated representatives to drno@kfri.re.kr and Kevin.Smith@inspection.gc.ca by March 15, 2013. Parties in the United States that are 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).

Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (CCFFV):

Thailand invites all member countries and observer organizations to participate in an eWG, working in English only, to develop the proposed draft standard for Durian. Interested member countries and observer organizations should provide name, affiliation, email address and telephone number of their official designated representatives to Mr. Pisan Pongsaptich at codex@acfs.go.th by March 15, 2013. Parties in the United States that are 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).

Japan invites all member countries and observer organization to participate in an eWG to review the terms of reference for CCFFV. The eWG will work in English, French and Spanish. Interested member countries and observer organizations should ask their national Codex contact point to provide name, affiliation, email address and telephone number of their official designated representatives to codex_maff@nm.maff.go.jp with copies to Catherine.ballandras@dgccrf.finances.gouv.fr, llopez@inta.go.cr, and infocodex@meic.go.cr by 1 March 2013. Parties in the United States that are 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).

Other News

FAO/WHO Call for Data: FAO and WHO ask governments, animal health services (veterinary and inspection), interested organizations, academia, the food industry, consumer groups, laboratories and individuals to submit any available data (published or unpublished) associated with the evaluation of risk-based approaches to food safety management for Trichinella spp. and Taenia saginata/Cysticercus bovis. This data call supports the work of the Committee on Food Hygiene to evaluate risk-based approaches to the different ranges and intensities of inspection procedures used for Trichinella spp. and Taenia saginata/Cysticercus bovis proportional to the epidemiological situation of a country or region, so that such approaches are consistent with the provisions of the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) which requires that the selection of risk management options be based on the proportionality of risk. For more detail, please see the data call document which is available here.

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Last Modified Sep 10, 2013