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U.S. Codex News—Friday, November 30, 2012

A summary of recent and upcoming events published biweekly; direct inquiries to USCodex@fsis.usda.gov

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Recent Committee Meetings

FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean (CCLAC): The 18th Session of the Committee met from November 19-23 in San José, Costa Rica, and was attended by 98 delegates from 26 Member countries, two Member countries from other regions, five International Organizations, and representatives of the FAO and WHO. During the Session, the Committee discussed and commented on the most recent draft of the Codex Strategic Plan. CCLAC also adopted the position, with the exception of Mexico, to commence work on an international standard for Processed Cheese, citing trade problems with “cheese like” products flooding their market. With regard to Note 161, the Committee supports suspension of its use and recommends that CCFA evaluate, on a case-by-case basis, all (past) uses and set a time line for its elimination.

In addition, CCLAC has now formalized its procedures for adopting regional positions within Codex. Specifically, the CCLAC Secretariat will draft a document for the subsidiary body  ( CCRVDF, CCFL, etc.) listing the countries present who support the regional position. The CCLAC Secretariat, or its designated representative, will then speak at the subsidiary body on behalf of all of the countries that agreed to the position. For items agreed upon in-between regional meetings, countries can sign on to a position and it can be presented as above. Replies to Circular Letters however, will continue to come from the individual countries.

The entire region was very concerned that work was going ahead in Codex on cadmium in cocoa without any data from the region. As several members of CCLAC are cocoa producers, the Committee asked the FAO/WHO for assistance in the generation of data. Moreover, CCLAC also approved new work for a regional standard for Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) and for an international standard on Pirarucu (Arapaima gigas schinz) to be sent to CCFFP.

In other news, CCLAC does not believe there is a need to develop additional guidelines for Chairpersons and that they should be provided with training and support on the existing procedures contained within the Procedural Manual. The Committee also does not support any revision to the Codex voting rules. With regard to the CCPR Revision of Risk Analysis Principles, CCLAC formally expressed concern over the revocation of MRL's without a scientific basis and plans to participate in the eWG. Moreover, CCLAC believes that the “concern form” and its procedures for use including only using scientific arguments to delay standards should be implemented in all committees where feasible.

Request for Comments

Committee on Fats and Oils (CCFO): The Codex Secretariat invites member countries and observer organizations to comment on the Proposed Draft Standard for Fish Oils, which will be considered at Step 3 at the next session of CCFO (February 2013). The draft standard is available online at: ftp://ftp.fao.org/codex/meetings/ccfo/ccfo23/fo23_03e.pdf. Those interested in submitting proposals for consideration by the United States should submit comments to the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) by December 31, 2012. Codex Member countries and observer organizations interested in submitting comments should send their comments to the Codex Secretariat (codex@fao.org) with a copy to the Malaysian Codex Contact Point (ccfo_malaysia@moh.gov.my) by January 15, 2013.

Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS): The Codex Secretariat invites member countries and observer organizations to comment on the Proposed Draft Principles for the Use of Sampling and Testing in International Food Trade- section on Principles, which will be considered at Step 6 at the next session of CCMAS (March 2013). The draft principles are available in the document REP 12/MAS, para 20, and Appendix IV (ftp://ftp.fao.org/codex/Reports/Reports_2012/
REP12_MAe.pdf
). Those interested in submitting proposals for consideration by the United States should submit comments to the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) by December 31, 2012. Codex Member countries and observer organizations interested in submitting comments should send their comments to the Codex Secretariat ( codex@fao.org) with a copy to the Hungarian Codex Contact Point ( HU_CODEXCP@megih.gov.hu) by January 15, 2013.

Committee on Food Additives (CCFA): The Codex Secretariat invites member countries and observer organizations to comment on the Specifications for the Identity and Purity of Food Additives arising from the 76th JECFA meeting, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland in June 2012. The resulting monographs are available (in English only) on the JECFA Online Edition of the "Combined Compendium of Food Additive Specifications” ( http://www.fao.org/ag/agn/jecfa-additives/search.html?lang=en). Those interested in submitting proposals for consideration by the United States should submit comments to the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) by December 31, 2012. Codex Member countries and observer organizations interested in submitting comments should send their comments to the Codex Secretariat (codex@fao.org) with a copy to the Secretariat of the CCFA ( secretariat@ccfa.cc) by January 31, 2013.

Other News

The U.S. Codex Program has posted online its new Strategic Plan (2012-2017). It is available on the FSIS website at the following link: US Codex Strategic Plan 2012-2017

Changes have been made to the list of substances scheduled for evaluation at the 77th JECFA, scheduled to take place in Rome, Italy in June 2013. The revised "List of substances scheduled for evaluation and call for data" has been published on the FAO and WHO web pages, and may be accessed at: http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/agns/news_events/
Addendum%20to%20call%20for%20data%20for%2077%20JECFAF.pdf 

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Last Modified Sep 10, 2013