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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Report of the U.S. Delegate, 25th Session, Codex Committee on Fats and Oils

The 25th Session of the Codex Committee on Fats and Oils (CCFO25) met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, February 27 - March 3, 2017.  The meeting was chaired by Ms. Noraini Mohd Othman, Senior Director for Food Safety, Ministry of Health Malaysia.  The Session was attended by participants from 41 Member countries, one Member organization (the European Union) and seven International organizations.

The United States (U.S.) Delegation was led by Dr. Paul South (Head of Delegation) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and Dr. Robert Moreau (Alternate Delegate) from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.  There were also two additional U.S. government representatives and one non-governmental adviser on the U.S. Delegation.

The 25th Session was generally a very productive one, where a number of items are being forwarded to the Codex Alimentarius Commission for final adoption at Step 8 or Step 5/8 at its July 2017 session (CAC40), including the Standard for Fish Oils and the Revision of the Limit for Campesterol in the Standard for Olive Oils and Olive Pomace Oils (Codex Stan 33-1981).  The full report of the 25th Session of the CCFO can be found in REP 16/FO, posted on the Codex website at:  http://www.fao.org/fao-who-codexalimentarius/meetings-reports/detail/en/?meeting=CCFO&session=25

MEETING SUMMARY

The following is a summary of notable issues raised during the meeting.

Matters Referred by the Codex Alimentarius Commission and other Codex Committees (Agenda Item 2)

Monitoring of Standards Development

The Committee agreed there was no need to develop new criteria for the prioritization and management of CCFO work and that current guidance in the Procedural Manual and requirements set out in the report from the 16th Session of CCFO were adequate and would continue to be applied.  The Committee agreed that the CCFO Secretariat (Malaysia) would prepare a discussion paper on the guidance needed for revision of parameters or inclusion of new parameters and editorial amendments to existing fats and oils standards, for consideration at its next session.

The United States believes that this initiative from Malaysia is a welcome one since it will help facilitate the work of the committee considering that revisions and editorial amendments to existing standards should not have to go through the same rigorous requirements work on new standards. 

Food Additives

The Committee agreed to:

  • Forward the replies (Appendix II, part A of REP17/FO) to the Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) and inform it that CCFO needed more time to clarify the use of emulsifiers. 
  • Establish an Electronic Working Group (eWG) led by the European Union (EU), open to Members and Observers and working in English only to:
    • Review food additive provisions in standards for fats and oils (except the standard for fish oils) in order to align them with the General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA) or propose modifications to the current entries of the GSFA if necessary; and
    • Further explore the technological justification for the use of emulsifiers and the existing standards for fats and oils (except the standard for fish oils) report the findings to the next session (CCFO26, 2019).

The United States plans to actively participate in and contribute to the proposed EWG once it has been established. 

Draft Standard for Fish Oils (Agenda Item 4)

Following the drafting of this standard over the course of several sessions, the Committee agreed to:

  • Forward the draft Standard for Fish Oils to CAC40 for final adoption at Step 8;
  • Send the labelling provisions for endorsement by the Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL);
  • Send the methods of analysis for endorsement by the Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS), along with clarification on phospholipids and a request for CCMAS to consider a factor for the conversion of phosphorus to phospholipids;
  • Inform the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods (CCCF) of the completion of this work and reconfirm CCFO’s request for CCCF to establish MLs for arsenic, in particular inorganic arsenic, and lead in fish oil;
  • Inform the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS) of concerns of the CCFO with regard to authenticity of different oils and request that consideration be given to this matter in CCFICS work on food authenticity/integrity; and
  • Request the Secretariat to issue a Circular Letter (CL) after the adoption of the standard to request information on technical difficulties in the implementation of the standard, specifically on monitoring the application of the standard with respect to the conformity of named fish oils with the requirements (especially the fatty acid profile) and its effect on trade.  Chile and Switzerland will compile the information and report their findings to CCFO26.

The United States supports forwarding the draft standard to CAC40 for final adoption at Step 8 as well as other activities agreed by the Committee.

Proposed Draft Revision to the Standard for Olive Oils and Olive Pomace Oils (Codex Stan 33-1981): Revision of the Limit for Campesterol (Agenda Item 5)

The Committee, following the recommendation from the electronic Working Group (eWG), agreed to introduce a note to the limit for campesterol which allowed for a higher level of campesterol with stricter levels of stigmasterol, delta-7-stigmastenol and stigmastadienes than the existing levels in the standard.  After some discussion, the Committee agreed on Option 2 presented by the eWG: level of campesterol between >4.0% and ≤4.5%.  The Committee then agreed to forward the proposed draft revision to the Standard for Olive Oils and Olive Pomace Oils (CODEX STAN 33-1981) to CAC40 for final adoption at Step 5/8.

The United States supports the approach agreed by the Committee.

Proposed Draft Revision to the Standard for Named Vegetable Oils (Codex Stan 210-1999): Addition of Palm Oil with High Oleic Acid (OXG) (Agenda Item 6)

The Committee noted that substantial progress had been made on the proposed draft revision (Section 3) and that the use of the term “high oleic acid palm oil” under product definition needed further consideration.  This was due to the divergent views on whether the use of the term “high oleic acid” was appropriate for the proposed range of oleic acid (48.0 – 58.0) or could be best described as “mid oleic acid.”

The Committee agreed to:

  • Place the product definition in Section 2.1 in square brackets;
  • Forward the proposed draft revision to the Standard for Named Vegetable Oils (CODEX STAN 210-1999): Addition of Palm Oil with high Oleic Acid (OXG) (Appendix V) to CAC40 for adoption at Step 5, to allow for further review; and
  • Request CCFL to provide advice on what might constitute high and mid oleic acid categorization for new named vegetable oils.

The United States supports the approach agreed to by the Committee.

Proposed Draft Revision to the Standard for Named Vegetable Oils (Codex Stan 210-1999): Revision of Fatty Acid Composition and Other Quality Factors of Peanut Oil (Agenda Item 7)

The Committee agreed to forward the proposed draft revision to the Standard for Named Vegetable Oils (CODEX STAN 210-1999) to CAC40 for final adoption at Step 5/8.

The United States supports the approach agreed to by the Committee.

Proposals for the Transfer of Provisions, Other than those in Tables 3 and 4, from the Appendix into the Main Body of the Standard for Named Vegetable Oils (Codex Stan 210-1999) (Agenda Item 8)

As there was no clear support to transfer provisions of Tables 3 and 4 in the Appendix into the main body of the Standard for Named Vegetable Oils, the Committee agreed to discontinue consideration of this agenda item.

The United States supports the Committee’s decision not to transfer the provisions.

Review of the List of Acceptable Previous Cargoes (Appendix 2: List of Acceptable Previous Cargoes of CAC/RCP 36-1987)(Agenda Item 9)

The Committee recalled that at its previous session, it was agreed to issue a Circular Letter (CL) to propose further amendments to the List of Acceptable Previous Cargoes and to establish an eWG to consider the submitted proposals. However as no new proposals were submitted, the eWG did not proceed.  Given that this is a standing agenda item, the Committee agreed to:

  • Request the Codex Secretariat to issue a CL inviting interested members and observers to propose further amendments to Appendix 2: List of Acceptable Previous Cargoes of CAC/RCP 36-1987;
  • Establish an eWG, led by Malaysia and working in English only, with the following Terms of Reference:
    • Consider proposals on new substances to be added to the list provided that such proposals are supported by adequate and relevant information;
    • Prioritize substances to be submitted to FAO and WHO for evaluation.
    • Consider proposals to remove substances from the list in light of new data.
    • Prepare a report for consideration by CCFO26.
  • Convene an in-session Working Group at the next session (CCFO26), if needed, chaired by Malaysia, to consider the report of the eWG and report back to the Committee.

The Committee further agreed to inform FAO/WHO that the evaluation of 23 substances currently on the list was a matter of priority for CCFO and to encourage FAO/WHO to evaluate the 23 substances as soon as possible.

The United States supports the approach agreed to by the Committee.

Discussion Paper on the Revision of Limits of Oleic and Linoleic Acids in Sunflowerseed Oils in the Standard for Named Vegetable Oils (Codex Stan 210-1999) (Agenda Item 10)

The Committee agreed to:

  • Start new work on the revision of limits of oleic and linoleic acids in sunflowerseed oils and the associated definitions in Section 2.1;
  • Establish an eWG, chaired by Argentina, and co-chaired by Brazil and the EU, and working in English only, to prepare the proposed draft revision of the Standard for Named Vegetable Oils (Codex Stan 210-1999) for circulation for comments at Step 3 and consideration at CCFO26, subject to CAC40 approval of the new work.

The United States supports the approach agreed to by the Committee.

Discussion Paper on the Inclusion of provisions for Walnut Oil, Almond Oil, Hazelnut oil, Pistachio Oil, Flaxseed Oil and Avocado Oil in the Standard for Named Vegetable Oils (Codex Stan 210-1999) (Agenda Item 11)

The Committee agreed to:

  • Start new work on the inclusion of provisions for walnut oil, almond oil, hazelnut oil, pistachio oil, flaxseed oil and avocado oil in the Standard for Named Vegetable Oils (Codex Stan 210-1999);
  • Revise and submit an updated project document to CAC40 which complies with the Criteria for the Establishment of Work Priorities in the Codex Procedural Manual.  Recognizing that more robust information is needed for this to pass the critical review by the Codex Executive Committee, Iran will work with interested countries (Chile, India, Spain, Turkey and the United States) to obtain additional trade data and other relevant information and will submit the revised project document for approval as new work through Codex Secretariat by the end of April 2017.
  • Establish an eWG, chaired by Iran and co-chaired by India, working in English only, to prepare the proposed draft provisions for walnut oil, almond oil, hazelnut oil, pistachio oil, flaxseed oil and avocado oil for inclusion in the Standard for Named Vegetable Oils (Codex Stan 210-1999) for circulation for comments at Step 3 and consideration at CCFO26, subject to CAC40 approval of the new work.

The United States supports the approach agreed to by the Committee and will forward available international trade data to Iran to assist in their effort to revise the project document by end of April 2017. 

Discussion paper on the replacement of Acid Value with Free Fatty Acids for Virgin Palm Oils in the Standard for Named Vegetable Oils (Codex Stan 210-1999) (Agenda Item 12)

The Committee agreed to:

  • Start new work on the replacement of acid value with free fatty acid value for virgin palm oil and inclusion of free fatty acid value for crude palm kernel oil in Section 1 of Appendix in the Standard for Named Vegetable Oils (Codex Stan 210-1999);
  • Request Malaysia to prepare the proposed draft revision of the Standard for Named Vegetable Oils (Codex Stand 210-1999) for circulation for comments at Step 3 and consideration at CCFO26, subject to CAC40 approval of the new work.

The United States supports the approach agreed to by the Committee.

Discussion paper on the Inclusion of Quality Parameters for Crude Rice Bran Oil in the Standard for Named Vegetable Oils (Codex Stan 210-1999) (Agenda Item 13)

In view of the discussion and clarifications provided by India, and recognizing that the inclusion of the “Note” on the applicability of the fatty acid composition of rice bran oil to the crude form of the oil was not intended to broaden the scope of the Standard for Named Vegetable Oils, but to provide clarity in the trade of crude rice bran oil, the Committee agreed to:

  • Include the following text in Section 2 of the Appendix of Standard for Named Vegetable Oils “For the fatty acid range of crude rice bran oil not intended for direct human consumption the ranges as given for rice bran oil in Table 1 apply”;
  • Forward the proposed amendment to CAC40 for adoption.

Recalling the conclusion of CCFO16 (1999) to consider the question of the applicability of Table 1 fatty acid composition to crude oils at a later date, the Committee agreed to:

  • Establish an eWG, chaired by the United States with the assistance of the American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS), working in English only, to prepare a discussion paper on the applicability of the fatty acid composition of other oils listed in Table 1 in relation to their corresponding crude form; and present the findings for CCFO26 consideration.

As chair of the eWG tasked with preparing this discussion paper on the applicability of the fatty acid composition of other oils listed in Table 1 in relation to their corresponding crude form, the United States supports the approach agreed to by the Committee.

Discussion paper on the Inclusion of Unrefined Edible Tallow in the Standard for Named Animal Fats (Codex Stan 211-1999) (Agenda Item 14)

The Committee postponed discussion of this agenda item to CCFO26 and noted that Australia was still actively collecting data and information on unrefined edible tallow, and that a discussion paper and project document proposing the addition of new fats in the Standard for Named Animal Fats (Codex Stan 211-1999) would be prepared and submitted for consideration at the next session.

Other Business (Agenda Item 15)

Proposal on Revision of the Standard for Olive Oils and Olive Pomace Oils (Codex Stan 33-1981)

The EU introduced the discussion paper citing new developments in technology and science; expansion in areas of cultivation and production; and an increase in value and volumes of trade with regard to olive oil.

The Committee agreed to:

  • Start new work on the revision of Section 3 (quality and composition), Section 8 (update the method of analysis) and the Appendix  of the Standard for Olive Oils And Olive Pomace Oils (Codex Stan 210-1999);
  • Submit the project document to CAC40 for approval as new work (Appendix X);
  • Establish an eWG, chaired by Spain, co-chaired by Argentina and Canada, and working in English only, to prepare  proposed draft revisions of the Standard for Olive Oils and Olive Pomace Oils) for circulation for comments at Step 3 and consideration at CCFO26, subject to CAC40 approval of the new work.
  • Convene a physical working group (pWG), chaired by Spain, and co-chaired by Argentina and Canada open to all members and observers and working in English only, and to meet immediately prior to the next session.

Change in Temperature for the Analysis of Refractive Index and Apparent Density of Palm Superolein in the Standard for Named Vegetable Oils (Codex Stan 210-1999)

In view of the late availability of the proposal, the Committee agreed to request the Codex Secretariat to issue a CL inviting comment on the proposals presented for consideration at CCFO26.

The United States supports the approach agreed on by the Committee.

Date and Place of the Next Session (Agenda Item 16)

The Committee was informed that the 26th Session is scheduled to be held in Malaysia tentatively from February 25 to March 1, 2019, the final arrangements being subject to confirmation by the host government in consultation with the Codex Secretariat.

Last Modified Apr 25, 2017