CODEX COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR ASIA
CODEX COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR EUROPE
CODEX COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR AFRICA
CODEX COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
CODEX COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NORTH AMERICA AND THE SOUTH WEST PACIFIC
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9. The Delegation of Japan, on behalf of Dr. Yuzo Hayashi, Coordinator for Asia, presented a brief summary of the activities of the Committee. He highlighted the following:
· identification of standards having a potential major trade impact in the Region;
· the development of Proposed Draft Guidelines for National Codex Contact Points and Codex Committees;
· discussions on micronutrient malnutrition and a need for food fortification regulations; and
· discussions on risk assessment, especially exposure assessment taking into account dietary habits in the region.
10. The Delegation noted that a new regional initiative on food intake surveys led by Japan, was being undertaken in response to the discussions at the Session. The Delegation of India stressed difficulties experienced by developing countries in applying low maximum limits for residues and contaminants.
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11. The Coordinator for Europe, Dr. Stuart Slorach (Sweden) reported that the Committee had focused its attention on proposals for extending the Acceptance Procedure to all Codex texts; prioritising standards and related texts on the basis of the list drawn up by the SPS Committee; transparency in the decision making process; the importance of consumer participation; harmonisation and regional cooperation as well as technical assistance in food related activities within the European region.
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12. The Coordinator for Africa, Mr David Nhari (Zimbabwe) pointed out that the Coordinating Committee for Africa had placed emphasis on the following problems of particular importance to the Region: strengthening the food control systems, improving the work of the national Codex structures, and inter-regional coordination. Improving and updating the work of food import/export inspection and certification systems, harmonization of food standards and legislation were also high on the agenda of the Coordinating Committee. Regional Draft Guidelines on the Design of Control Measures of Street Vended Foods were also elaborated by the Committee (see Item 7).
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13. Dr. Galdós Ugarte (Uruguay), Coordinator for Latin American and the Caribbean informed the Commission that the Committee had:
· agreed to initiate the revision of the Regional Code of Practice for the Preparation and Sale of Street-Vended Foods and to incorporate the new approach reflected in the revised General Principles of Food Hygiene and the HACCP Guidelines;
· recommended that in view of the importance of the "Four Statements of Principle" they should be included in the General Principles of Codex in the body of the Procedural Manual (see Item 6);
· agreed that the late reception of documents was an obstacle to effective participation in Codex's work and recommended to make a wider use of modem means of communication and to strengthen the Codex Secretariat;
· agreed on the necessity to review the present acceptance procedure and to study a revised system of notification and/or acceptance, which should be simple and the least bureaucratic possible;
· noted the progress of harmonization of food legislation and the extensive use of Codex standards and MRLs as reference in the framework of economic integration organizations and at the national level;
· agreed to continue working on food contamination by Salmonella, as well as food safety in tourist areas;
· agreed that the Draft Regional Guidelines for Codex Contact Points and National Codex Committees prepared by the Coordinating Committee for Asia could not be adopted in the Region;
· endorsed the recommendations of a Workshop on the Harmonization of Food Law.
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14. The Delegation of New Zealand, on the behalf of Dr. P. O'Hara, Coordinator for North America and the South West Pacific, reported the results of the Committee's 4th Session. The following issues were highlighted:
· a special focus was given to risk analysis and related aspects, and their impact on Codex;
· efforts to increase the coordination and participation of the countries of the South West Pacific region, with particular reference to facilitating greater participation of the Pacific Island countries;
· closer cooperation between Codex and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was strongly supported;
· a working group which was convened to identify Codex Standards and related texts which had a major impact on trade concluded that there was little benefit in continuing this work; and
· problems in the timeliness of distribution of reports and working papers.
Status of Regional Standards and Related Texts
15. The Delegation of the United Kingdom noted the important work underway in relation to the elaboration of regional standards and related texts and stated that the use which might be made of these texts under the WTO Agreements needed to be clarified (See also paras. 45 and 172).