U.S. Codex News — Friday, July 7, 2011
A summary of recent and upcoming events published biweekly; direct inquiries to USCodex@fsis.usda.gov
Special Edition — Outcomes of 34th Codex Alimentarius Session
The 34rd Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), meeting in Geneva, completed work today, July 7, on the main agenda items. The United States delegation was led by USDA Deputy Under Secretaries Brian Ronholm and Darci Vetter.
The Commission adopted numerous standards for pesticides, additives, and contaminants as well as guidance texts including Guidelines for the Control of Salmonella and Campylobacter in Chicken Meat. Among the new work items approved was Draft Guidelines for Control of Specific Zoonotic Parasites in Meat: Trichinella spiralis and C.bovis.
However, the draft maximum residue levels (MRLs) for the veterinary drug ractopamine remained at Step 8, where they have been since 2009. Although there was significant support for the MRLs from all areas of the world except Europe, they were blocked when the Commission, by secret ballot on a procedural vote, declined 59-68 to agree to vote on adoption of the MRLs.
Another attempt to discontinue work on an international standard for processed cheese was stymied by concerns raised by a number of countries that the standard was needed. The Committee on Milk and Milk Products had proposed discontinuance of work after being unable for nearly 20 years to find consensus on a standard.
Sanjay Dave was elected without opposition as the new CAC chair. Newly elected vice chairs are Samuel Sefa-Dedeh from Ghana, Awilo Ochieng Pernet from Switzerland, and Sam Godefroy from Canada.
The U.S. Delegates will provide a more detailed report on this Session, which we will publish shortly on our companion page for Recent Delegate Reports: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/us-codex-alimentarius/recent-delegation-reports.
The Commission formally concludes its 34th Session on July 9, with the adoption of the final report, which will be published soon thereafter on the website of the Codex Secretariat: http://www.codexalimentarius.net/web/archives.jsp?lang=en .