U.S. Codex News — Friday, March 25, 2011
A summary of recent and upcoming events published biweekly; direct inquiries to USCodex@fsis.usda.gov
The Codex Committee on Contaminants in Food (CCCF) concluded its 5th session on March 25, in The Hague, The Netherlands. The Committee agreed to forward two standards to the Commission for adoption at step 5/8: The Code of Practice for the Prevention and Reduction of Ethyl Carbamate in Stone Fruit Spirits and the Proposed Draft Maximum Levels For Melamine in Food for liquid infant formula. The Committee will continue work on the U.S.-led discussion paper on Guidance for Risk Management Options on How to Deal with the Results from Different Risk Assessment Methodologies. It will also re-establish the electronic Working Group (eWG) to continue collecting data on Ochratoxin A in cocoa, especially with regard to small producers, with the possibility of starting new work on a Code of Practice in 2012. With regard to natural mineral waters, the Committee agreed that the parameters for substances such as PCBs, PAs and pesticides were quality parameters, and not safety ones. As such, setting limits for these substances was determined to be beyond the remit of the CCCF.
The Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) concluded its 43rd session on March 18 in Xiamen, China. The United States played a leading role in challenging the use of Note 161 (subject to national legislation of the importing country) aimed, in particular, at consistency with Section 3.2 of the Preamble in the General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA). The United States expressed concern that the Note has been overused and that it greatly undermines the scientific basis of Codex. This position was supported by delegations from Africa and Latin America, who expressed concern over the implications of the use of this Note on trade. Fortunately, Note 161 was not associated with any of the food additive provisions decided upon at this Session. The United States also led the effort to retain food category 16 (Composite foods - foods that could not be placed in categories 01 - 15) of the GSFA. Since consensus could not be reached within the Committee, the United States will lead an (eWG) to revise the title and descriptor, as well as provide examples of products included in this food category.
The Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) will hold its 43rd Session from April 43rd, in Beijing, China. The United States is involved in numerous projects in CCPR to streamline the process for establishing maximum residue levels (MRLs) for recently registered pesticides and to facilitate the movement of commodities in international channels of trade. The U.S. Delegation will be led by Ms. Lois Rossi of the Office of Pesticide Programs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Upcoming Public Meetings
The U.S. Delegate to the Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (CCFFV) will hold a public meeting on April 5, from 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. to discuss the U.S. draft positions for the upcoming Session. The public meeting will be held at the United States Department of Agriculture, South Building, 1400 Independence Ave, Room 2068, Washington, DC 20250. Interested parties may also participate by calling: 1-866 692-3158; participant code: 5986642.