Codex News - October 17, 2014
A summary of recent and upcoming events published biweekly; direct inquiries to USCodex@fsis.usda.gov
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Recent Committee Meeting
Committee on Food Import & Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS) held its 21st session in Brisbane, Australia, 13-17 October. The Committee agreed to advance four project documents to the Executive Committee (CCEXEC) for critical review and referral to the Codex Alimentarius Commission meeting in July 2015, for approval as new work. The Committee also agreed to establish four electronic working groups to prepare the proposed draft standard for each project document, for circulation for comments at Step 3 and consideration at the next CCFICS session, with a possibility of subsequent physical working groups for each project document. The four project documents are:
- Principles and Guidelines for the Elaboration and Management of Questionnaires Directed at Exporting Countries. The working group will be led by New Zealand and co-chaired by Brazil and Mexico.
- Guidance for Monitoring Performance of National Food Control Systems. The working group will be led by the United States.
- Revision of Principles and Guidelines for the Exchange of Information in Food Safety Emergency Situations (CAC/GL 19-1995). The working group will be led by the European Union and co-chaired by Chile.
- Revision of the Guidelines for the Exchange of Information between Countries on Rejections of Imported Food (CAC/GL 25-1997). The working group will be led by Australia and co-chaired by Canada.
On the guidance sought by Lebanon and Egypt on halal food, the Committee concluded that, while it recognized the importance of the halal food trade and the need for harmonized guidance, it was still unclear which Codex committees could best provide this guidance taking into consideration common views by countries on halal rules. More consideration is needed on criteria for appropriate international guidance and the role of CCFICS. Possible CCFICS contributions might include developing guidance for assurance that halal requirements have been met.
Upcoming Committee Meeting
The Codex Committee on Food Labeling will hold its 42nd session in Rome, Italy, October 21-24. Main topics on the agenda are labeling for organic aquaculture, date marking, non-retail containers, and internet sales of food. The agenda and associated documents are available at: http://www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en/.
Upcoming Public Meetings
The U.S. Delegate to the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) will conduct a public meeting on Thursday, October 23, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, at the USDA Jamie Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC, Room 107-A. The purpose of this public meeting is to present draft US positions on the topics to be discussed at the upcoming meeting of CCFH. Persons interested in attending the public meeting in person are strongly urged to provide their name, organizational affiliation, and contact information to Maria Espinoza (202-205-7760; email@example.com) by October 21 for pre-clearance into the building. Persons interested in participating by teleconference should dial 888-844-9904, and use participant code 512-6092. CCFH will hold its 46th session in Lima, Peru, November 17-21; the proposed agenda for this session is available at http://www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en/.
The US Delegate to the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) will conduct a public meeting on Tuesday, October 28, from 1:00 – 4:00 PM at the Harvey Wiley Federal Building of the US Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, Maryland, rooms 1A-001 and 1A-002. The purpose of this public meeting is to present draft US positions on the topics to be discussed at the upcoming meeting of CCNFSDU. Persons interested in participating by teleconference should dial 888-844-9904, and use participant code 512-6092. The Committee will hold its 36th session in Denpesar, Indonesia, November 24-28; the proposed agenda for this session is available at http://www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en/.
Electronic Working Groups (eWG)
Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods (CCRVDF) invites Members and Observers to join an eWG on Priorities, led by Australia. Individuals in the United States interested in participating should provide their name, official title, and e-mail address to the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) by November 10. Individuals in other Codex member countries and observer organizations interested in participating should forward their information to the Australian Codex Contact Point (firstname.lastname@example.org) by November 14.
Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (CCFFV) invites member countries and observer organizations to join to electronic working groups (eWGs):
- GARLIC: To prepare a proposed draft standard on garlic for consideration at its next Session. The eWG will led by Mexico. Individuals in the United States interested in participating should provide their name, official title, and e-mail address to the U.S. Codex Office (USCodex@fsis.usda.gov) by October 27. Individuals in other Codex member countries and observer organizations interested in participating should forward their information to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org before October 31.
- PROPOSED LAYOUT: To consider and make proposals for changes needed to improve the layout for Codex Standards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, including:
- The introductory statement in relation to the nature of the produce;
- Point of application of the standard (quality tolerances);
- Sizing provisions;
- Uniformity provisions;
- How to approach food additives for fresh fruits and vegetables; and
- The need for a glossary.
The eWG will take into consideration the Format for Commodity Standards (as provided in the Codex Procedural Manual), the standard layout for UNECE Standards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, and formats developed by other international organizations. The eWG will be led by the United States and co-chaired by Germany. Individuals in the United States, as well as other Codex members and observer organizations interested in participating should forward their information to Dorian LaFond (email@example.com) by November 21.