U.S. Codex News — Friday, June 3, 2011
A summary of recent and upcoming events published biweekly; direct inquiries to USCodex@fsis.usda.gov
Recent Committee Meetings:
The FAO /WHO Coordinating Committee for the Near East (CCNEA) concluded its 6th session on May 26 in Hammamet, Tunisia. The Committee forwarded three regional standards to the Codex Commission (CAC) for adoption at step 5/8: The Draft Regional Standard for Street Vended Food, the Draft Regional Standard for Harissa, and the Draft Regional Standard for Halwa Tehenia. The Committee also endorsed, and sent to the CAC for approval as new work, three project documents: (1) for Doogh, submitted by Iran, (2) for Camel Milk, submitted by the United Arab Eminates, and (3) for Date Paste and Date Molasses, submitted by Saudi Arabia. The Committee noted the willingness of Lebanon to serve as the new regional coordinator and agreed to raise the issue at the CAC meeting in July, where it is hoped that a quorum of members from the region will be present to endorse the nomination.
Upcoming Public Meeting: A public meeting will be held on June 16 from 1:00-4:00 PM to review and solicit comments on the draft U.S. positions for the items on the agenda for the 34th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). This meeting will be held in Room 107A of the Jamie Whitten Building of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., Washington, DC. Interested persons may also participate by teleconference by calling 888-858-2144, access code 6208658.
The main agenda items are: Amendments to the Procedural Manual; approval of proposed standards; revocation of existing standards; proposals for new work and discontinuing work; and election of a new Commission chairperson and three vice-chairpersons. The full agenda and associated documents are available on line at: http://www.codexalimentarius.net/web/current.jsp?lang=en .
New Working Groups:
The Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) inaugurated an electronic working group (eWG) to formulate a discussion document for facilitating a uniform implementation of Section 3.2 of the Preamble of the GSFA to address the use of Note 161 ("Subject to national legislation of the importing country aimed, in particular at the consistency with Section 3.2 of the Preamble."). South Africa will lead this eWG, and interested parties should join by June 17.
The Committee on Fresh Fruits & Vegetables (CCFFV) inaugurated an eWG on revision of sizing-related provisions (uniformity rules) of the Codex Standard for Avocado. Spain is the leader of this eWG, and interested parties should join the eWG by June 30.
The Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) inaugurated an eWG on the revision of the Risk Analysis Principles applied by CCPR. The eWG will be chaired by Argentina and co-chaired by Brazil. Interested parties should join by June 30.
The FAO /WHO Coordinating Committee for the Near East (CCAsia) inaugurated an eWG to develop a proposed draft regional standard for non-fermented soybean products. China will lead this group, which is open to member countries of CCAsia and interested observer organizations.
The Federal Register Notice on International Standard-setting Activities in Codex was put on display in the Office of the Federal Register on June 2, and will be published on June 7. The Notice reports on the outcomes of Codex meetings from June 1, 2010, to May 31, 2011, and it describes the work anticipated for the time period from June 1, 2011, to May 31, 2012, for which it solicits public comment on standards under consideration and recommendations for new standards. It also provides the names and contact information of U.S. Delegates and Alternate Delegates. This Notice is published annually in accordance with section 491 of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, Public Law 103-465. An electronic version of this 71-page document will be available, after June 7, on the FSIS website at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations/federal-register/proposed-rules.