U.S. Codex News — Friday, January 28, 2011
A summary of recent and upcoming events published biweekly; direct inquiries to USCodex@fsis.usda.gov
CCRVDF/Commission - Friends of the Chair Meeting
Another effort to resolve the issues surrounding Codex approval of a maximum residue level for ractopamine will take place in Brussels, February 10-11, with the second meeting of the Friends of the Chair. This is a small group of countries charged with finding a way to end the impasse. The United States is a member of the group and strongly supports adoption of the MRL based on extensive scientific review of the animal drug. Discussion at the first meeting in Mexico City in December elicited positions from the participants that were similar to the positions taken at the last meeting of the Codex Commission when the European Union, China, and a few other countries succeeded in blocking adoption of the MRL, largely because of opposition to the use of growth promoting veterinary drugs. With the help of a facilitator, the group will attempt in Brussels to develop concepts for moving toward a solution. A third and final meeting of the group is scheduled for Beijing, April 26-27.
Coordinating Committee for Africa (CCAfrica)
A representative from the U.S. Codex Office will lead an observer delegation to the 19th Session of CCAfrica, meeting in Accra, Ghana, February 1-4. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce will also be part of this delegation.
Upcoming Outreach Events
The U.S. Codex Office will host its third colloquium for African and U.S. Codex delegates, February 14-16, in Accra, Ghana. The purpose of the colloquium is to provide an opportunity for informal discussion on topics that will be under discussion at the upcoming meetings of four Codex Committees: Food Additives, Contaminants in Food, Food Labeling, and Pesticide Residues, all of which will meet in the next four months. The colloquium will also include capacity-building sessions and discussion of strategies for U.S.-Africa cooperation in Codex.
Upcoming Public Meetings
February 9, 11:00 a..m - 12:30 p.m.: Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS); Location: FDA Harvey Wiley Building, Auditorium (1A003), 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD. Call-in Number 866-859-5767, participant code: 2225276.
February 9, 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Codex Committee on Fats and Oils (CCFO); Location: FDA Harvey Wiley Building, Auditorium (1A003), 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD. Call-in Number 866-859-5767, participant code: 2225276.
February 17, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR); Location: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, One Potomac Yard, Room S-7100, 2777 South Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA. Call-in number (for U.S.) 866-299-3188; for international calls: 1-706-758-1822; participant code: 7033056463#.
Recent Outreach Events
Africa: The U.S. Codex Office sent an observer to the Pan African Meeting of National Codex Contact Points in Accra, Ghana, January 27-29. The meeting was organized by the African Union's Inter-African Bureau on Animal Resources (AU-IBAR). AU-IBAR has a program for promoting more effective participation by African countries in the standard-setting work of Codex, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The purpose of the National Codex Contact Points meeting was to identify issues in Codex that are important to the African region, specifically for pan-African positions at the upcoming sessions of the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods (CCCF) and the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR). The National Codex Contact Points meeting was timed to help delegates prepare for 19th Session of the Coordinating Committee for Africa (CCAfrica), meeting in Accra, February 1-4.
New Working Groups
Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL)
An electronic working group, led by Canada, has been constituted to prepare a discussion paper on: (1) New entries to the table of conditions for nutrient contents in the Guidelines for Use of Nutrition and Health Claims for the non addition of sugars a nd salt/sodium; (2) Additional conditions of use for comparative claims for sugars and salt/sodium content; (3) Reviewing the heading of the table of conditions for nutrient contents; and (4) Adding nutrient content claims in relation to trans-fatty acids. A first paper was circulated on January 21 inviting comments from eWG members. The draft discussion paper is expected to be ready March 18 for circulation for comments. A physical working group on this discussion paper will meet on May 7, just prior to the start of the 39th Session of the Committee on Food Labelling, May 9-13 in Quebec City.
Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods (CCRVDF)
Two electronic working groups have recently been organized.
- On the List of Veterinary Drugs of Potential Interest for Developing Countries, led by the United States, to: (a) continue developing and maintaining the database; (b) identify data gaps and sources of data; and (c) solicit support and identify potential sponsors to allow the inclusion in the priority list of veterinary drugs of interest for developing countries.
- To revise the draft sampling plans for Residue Control for Aquatic Animal Products and Derived Edible Products of Aquatic Origin, also led by the United States, with particular attention to the appropriate minimum quantity required for laboratory sample in the context of current analytical technology and the number and size of required subsamples.
Codex Committee on Fats and Oils (CCFO)
The United States recently submitted a project document for a new work proposal to amend the Codex Standard for Named Vegetable Oils (CSX-CODEX STAN 210- 1999), to include a standard for High Oleic Soyabean Oil. The amendment would enable Codex member countries and the food industry to appropriately characterize, name, and market high oleic soyabean oil developed for improved functional benefits for consumers and the food processing industry. The project document will be discussed under Agenda Item 9, "Other Business and Future Work," at the upcoming 22nd Session of CCFO in Penang, Malaysia, February 21-25.
Federal Register Notices
- January 28, 2011 - Notice on the February 9 public meeting to review draft U.S. positions for the 22nd Session of the Codex Committee on Fats and Oils
- January 20 - Notice on the February 22 public meeting to review draft U.S. positions for the 43rd Session of the Codex Committee on Food Additives
- January 20 - Notice on the February 17 public meeting to review draft U.S. positions for the 43rd Session of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues