U.S. Codex News—Friday, July 6, 2012
A summary of recent and upcoming events published biweekly; direct inquiries to USCodex@fsis.usda.gov
Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) concluded the working agenda for its 35th Session on July 5. The CAC adopted all standards that had been proposed at Step 8, 5/8, and 5, with the exception of:
- Two additives that were returned to Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) for further review; and
- The proposed nutrient reference values for saturated fatty acids and sodium which the CAC approved at Step 5 (rather than 5/8, as recommended by the Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses - CCNFSDU).
The CAC adopted the maximum residues limits (MRLs) for the veterinary drug ractopamine by means of a 69-67 vote. The proposed MRLs had been held at Step 8 since 2008. Also with regard to veterinary drugs, the CAC responded to a request for guidance from the Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods (CCRVDF) by deciding that zilpaterol should be added to the priority list for evaluation by JECFA (the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives).
The CAC approved all proposals for new work recommended by the Committees.
In addition, the CAC:
- Agreed (after trying for the two previous years) to discontinue work on a Codex standard for processed cheese, which the Committee on Milk and Milk Products (CCMMP) had not been able to conclude after more than 10 years of work. To accommodate countries that felt a standard was needed, the CAC agreed to survey member countries to determine what needs remain to be addressed.
- Continued to hold the draft MRLs for rBST at Step 8, and will ask members to submit new scientific information, if available, in light of the length of time since the last JECFA review.
- Considered a proposal from India to establish a new commodity committee on spices and, while generally supporting the concept, delayed a decision until the 2013 Commission session to provide time to better define the scope.
- Established a subcommittee to study mechanisms for increasing financial support for the WHO/FAO expert committees that provide scientific advice to Codex.
The CAC formally concludes its 35th Session on July 7 with the adoption of the final report. The report will soon be available online at: www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en/.