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Summary and Conclusions


Twenty-second Session, Geneva, 23-28 June 1997

The Commission:

· Noted with satisfaction that in the proposed budget for the biennium 1998/1999, US$ 400 000 had been restored mainly to strengthen the documentation service and provide additional expert support to the Commission, but felt that the implications of the proposed reduction in the overall Codex budget should be carefully evaluated and that the budgetary reduction as currently proposed should not lead to inefficiency in Codex document distribution nor in its other important activity areas (paragraphs 16, 17);

· Raised concern that reducing the duration of Codex sessions would not allow sufficient time for the consideration of the matters in question and limiting the length of Codex meeting reports would make them less useful for understanding how positions were reached (paragraph 18);

· Approved certain amendments to the Procedural Manual of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, including the establishment of an Appendix containing the General Decisions of the Commission, Statements of Principle relating to the Role of Food Safety Risk Assessment, and Definitions of Risk Analysis Terms relating to Food Safety (paragraphs 19-31);

· Adopted maximum residue limits for 45 pesticides and 7 veterinary drugs in various commodities; 6 new or revised Codex standards, amendments and additions to a variety of existing standards including the General Standard for Food Additives; and a variety of other texts including a major revision of the General Principles of Food Hygiene and other codes of practice (paragraphs 32-103 and Appendix II);

· Adopted a variety of draft standards and related texts at Step 5 (paragraphs 104-121 and Appendix III);

· endorsed proposals to elaborate new standards and other texts (paragraphs 122-130 and Appendix IV);

· revoked a number of existing standards considered to be obsolete or not of significance to international trade including over 300 obsolete maximum residue limits for pesticides and the Standard for Edible Ices (paragraphs 131-132);

· abolished the Codex Committee on Edible Ices (paragraph 131);

· requested FAO and WHO to convene an international expert advisory body similar to JECFA and JMPR on the microbiological aspects of food safety to address particularly microbiological risk assessments (paragraph 139);

· requested the Codex Committee on General Principles to consider the application of "other legitimate factors" than science in relation to the adoption of maximum residue limits for bovine and porcine somatotropins (paragraphs 68 and 124), to address the question of improving procedures aimed at obtaining a better consensus of opinion at Commission and Committee session (paragraph 125), and consider the issue of providing special or differential treatment to developing countries in the application of Codex standards (paragraph 126) and to develop guidelines on procedures for granting observer status to non-governmental international organizations (paragraph 159);

· adopted an Action Plan for the development and application of risk analysis principles and guidelines (paragraphs 160-167);

· requested the WTO Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures to clarify how it would differentiate between Codex "standards, guidelines and other recommendations" in relation to the implementation of the SPS Agreement by WTO Members, and discussed other matters relating to follow-up to the Uruguay Round (paragraphs 168-176);

· approved the general direction of the proposed Medium-Term Plan 1998-2002 (paragraphs 177-180);

· expressed concern about possible implications of abolishing committees adjourned sine die and expressed interest in the "alternative mechanisms", stating that there should be clear rules for their establishment and operation and that such mechanisms should be as inclusive, transparent and responsive as the current system (paragraphs 185-188)

July, 97

Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme
Codex Alimentarius Commission


Geneva, 23 - 28 June 1997

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