U.S. Codex News—Friday, June 29, 2012
A summary of recent and upcoming events published biweekly; direct inquiries to USCodex@fsis.usda.gov
Executive Committee (CCEXEC) met in Rome, Italy, June 26-29, and:
- Recommended that the Codex Commission discontinue work on a standard for processed cheese because of the absence of identified trade impediments and the difficulty in defining the scope of work and standardizing the product;
- Developed further the 2014-2019 Strategic Plan, which will be referred to Regional Coordinating Committees;
- Established a Subcommittee to consider new funding strategies for the WHO/FAO expert scientific committees;
- Recommended that FAO and WHO approve applications for observer status from the American Society for Nutrition, the Collagen Casings Trade Association, and the Association of Yogurts & Live Fermented Milks; and
- Established an organizing committee to plan activities observing the 50th Anniversary of Codex Alimentarius in 2013.
Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) will hold its 35th Session in Rome, Italy, July 2-7, 2012, and the core of the agenda is consideration of proposed amendments to the Procedural Manual, the adoption of 23 new or revised standards (or groups of standards) proposed by 12 committees (along with the revocation of existing standards that are being superseded by any newly adopted standards), and the consideration of proposals for new work or the discontinuation of work proposed by committees.
Of special interest, India has proposed the creation of a new subsidiary body: a Codex Committee on Spices. The purpose of this proposed committee would be to develop a unified classification and standards for spices, aromatic herbs and their formulations. The proposed committee would both draw on standards already established by the International Standards Organization (ISO) and other international bodies (presumably the European Spice Association and the American Spice Trade Association), and seek to remedy gaps in the existing standards. The project document cites that one billion metric tons of spices are in annual international trade at a value of more than $3.7 billion. The project document also notes that a majority of production takes place in developing countries, and suggests that a Committee on Spices will respond to developing country interests and provide an incentive for capacity-building. India has offered to host this committee, and proposes that the first committee session take place in 2014. The Commission will consider this new work proposal at its 35th Session, and the project document is available at: ftp://ftp.fao.org/codex/meetings/cac/cac35/cac35_19x.pdf).
We plan to publish a special edition of Codex News on July 6 to provide highlights and outcomes of the 35th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.