7. The Committee noted the following decisions taken by the 22nd Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (July 1997) concerning Risk Analysis:
8. The Committee was further informed of the following discussions concerning risk analysis arising from the 13th Session (September 1998) of the CCGP:
9. The Committee noted that some confusion existed over several terms related to risk analysis and suggested that definitive, clear and concise definitions should be decided upon as soon as possible. The Committee also stressed a critical need for the elaboration of an introductory narrative on risk analysis in the Codex system as had been agreed to by the Commission to provide for adequate explanatory material concerning risk analysis and to allow for the orderly progression of the Commissions action plan. The Committee supported the input of developing countries in the elaboration of the Working Principles, as well as technical assistance in the application of such principles.
10. The Committee urged considerable caution in relation to the inclusion of reference to the application of the precautionary principle in Codex (including a definition of the principle). It suggested that such a reference may not, in fact, be required due to the manner in which the Commission and its expert advisory bodies already handle the question of uncertainty in risk analysis. The Committee suggested that this matter might be best approached in an holistic way taking into account the work of CCGP in relation to the development of improved procedures for the development and adoption of standards.
REPORT ON ACTIVITIES RELATED TO RISK ANALYSIS ARISING FROM OTHER BODIES
11. The Committee noted the reports of the following expert consultations:
12. The representative of Consumers International (CI) thanked FAO and WHO for the participation of an expert nominated by CI in the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on the Application of Risk Communication to Food Standards and Safety Matters, and welcomed such openness and transparency in the future. The representative also noted the development of a clear general policy of other legitimate factors was recommended by two of the expert consultations as being important to transparency in Codex deliberations.
13. The Committee was also informed of discussions held at the 45th Session of the Executive Committee concerning the potential establishment of a scientific advisory body on the microbiological aspects of food safety, particularly on microbiological risk assessments. It noted that discussions were underway between FAO and WHO on the possible establishment of such a body. The Committee strongly supported the establishment of such a body. It was suggested that consideration might also be given to specific recommendations for food safety objectives in the context of equivalence in addition to those general requirements regarding microbiological risk assessments requested by the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene.
14. The Secretariat also reported that a Joint FAO/WHO Task Force had been established to prepare for future activities in relation to the establishment of advice on good practice and control in the non-medical use of antibiotics, particularly the use of antimicrobials in food and agriculture.
15. The Committee was also informed that in follow-up to discussions held at the 45th Session of the Executive Committee, the 53rd Meeting (June 1999) of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives would be considering the question of food allergies and intolerances in detail.