Residues from veterinary drugs
Food additives and contaminants
Tropical fresh fruits and vegetables
Cereals, pulses and legumes
Processed meat and poultry products
The Codex Alimentarius Commission1 is a subsidiary body of the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization. It was established to formulate internationally accepted food safety standards with the aim of protecting the consumer's health and ensuring fair trade practices. The Commission is composed of 138/ member countries.
[1 Codex alimentarius are Latin words meaning "food code" or "food law".]
The Fifth Session of the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods was held in Washington, D.C. from 16 to 19 October 1990. Dr G.B. Guest, Director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine, United States Food and Drug Administration, chaired the session which was attended by delegates from 34 countries and seven international organizations. Related meetings of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) took place in Geneva from 30 January to 8 February 1989 (34th Session) and in Rome from 5 to 14 February 1990 (36th Session). The Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods relies on JECFA to make recommendations to the Commission concerning the level of residues from drugs which are considered to be safe when used under supervision and in compliance with good veterinary practices. The Report of the 34th JECFA Session (TRS 788) recommended maximum residue limits for veterinary drugs (MRLVDs) for albendazole (an anthelminthic), sulfadimidine (an antimicrobial substance) and trenbolone acetate (a growth promoter). The Codex Committee agreed to forward these proposals for adoption by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in July 1991. The Committee also decided to solicit additional government comments on the proposed MRLVDs established by the 36th JECFA Session (TRS 799) and including: closantel, ivermectin and levamisole (anthelminthics), benzylpenicillin and oxytetracycline (antimicrobial substances) and carbadox (a growth promoter). The Commission will also consider the adoption of other draft documents elaborated by the Committee; namely, a glossary of terms, a code for the control of the use of veterinary drugs and guidelines for the establishment of a regulatory control programme for veterinary drug residues in foods. The Committee will also seek the Commission's approval to commence drafting a code of practice on the use of veterinary drugs in aquaculture. Finally, the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods continued to establish methods of analysis and sampling of veterinary drugs and updated the priority list of those drugs requiring evaluation by JECFA.
The 22nd Session of the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants (CCFAC) was held from 19 to 24 March 1990 in The Hague. Mrs C.G.M. Klitsie, Deputy Director of Nutrition and Quality Affairs in the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries chaired the Session which was attended by delegates from 35 countries and 32 international organizations. A related meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) took place in Rome from 29 May to 7 June 1989 (35th Session, TRS 789). JECFA is the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on which the CCFAC relies to make recommendations to the Commission concerning the use of food additives and the establishment of guideline levels for contaminants. In addition to the CCFAC's regular activities (updating the inventory of processing aids and the priority list of food additives and contaminants requiring JECFA evaluation; endorsing specifications and food additive provisions in Codex standards), several fundamental decisions were made concerning the Committee's future deliberations. The Committee decided to continue its work in several subject areas through the solicitation of information on issues related to radionuclide contamination of foods; dietary intake of intense sweeteners; guideline levels for cadmium and lead in foods; and national strategies for the control of dioxins, PCBs, benzapyrene, hydrogen cyanide, DEHP and ethyl carbamate in foods. It also agreed to solicit governments' comments on maximum levels and sampling plans for total aflatoxins in food and on a guideline level for aflatoxin B in feed. More importantly, the Committee decided to draft a proposal containing provisions for the use of food additives in standardized and non-standardized foods in order to establish a simplified and more comprehensive Codex standard. It also decided to forward the Codex international numbering system and guideline levels for certain contaminants in fish and packaging materials for adoption by the Commission.
The Second Session of the Codex Committee on Tropical Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (CCTFFV) was held from 5 to 9 March 1990 in Mexico City. Agustín Portal y Ariosa, Director-General of Standards, Mexican Secretary of Commerce and Industrial Development, chaired the session which was attended by delegates from 16 countries and one international organization. The Government of Mexico was the first developing country nominated to host a Codex committee, reflecting the increasing participation and importance of developing countries in standardization and international trade activities. The Committee, while revising the priority list of tropical fruits and vegetables requiring standardization, decided to elaborate standards for nopal (prickly pear), carambola and litchi as part of its future work. The Committee also agreed to initiate work on codes of practice for the packaging, shipment, control and inspection of tropical fresh fruits and vegetables and decided to continue its deliberations on proposed draft glossaries of scientific common names and terms and definitions. Finally, the Committee submitted proposed Codex standards for pineapple, papaya and mango for adoption by the Commission.
The Seventh Session of the Codex Committee on Cereals, Pulses and Legumes (CCCPL) was held in Washington, D.C. from 22 to 26 October 1990. Mr Steven Tanner, Assistant to the Administrator for Technology in the Federal Grain Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, chaired the session which was attended by delegates from 19 countries and four international organizations. The Committee, inter alia. decided to request additional government comments on proposed guideline levels and sampling plans for total aflatoxins in peanuts, as well as a proposed draft Codex standard for rice. It also agreed to elaborate Codex standards for wheat, durum wheat, oats and peanuts, and decided to forward the Codex standard for durum wheat, semolina and flour as well as guideline levels for contaminants in cereals, pulses and legumes for adoption by the Commission.
The 15th Session of the Codex Committee on Processed Meat and Poultry Products (CCPMPP) was held in Copenhagen from 8 to 12 October 1990. The Session was chaired by Mrs Karen Jensen of the Veterinary Service, Food Control Laboratory in the Danish Ministry of Agriculture. It was attended by delegates from 26 countries and three international organizations. The Committee finalized its revision of draft standards for corned beef; cooked cured ham; cooked, cured pork shoulder; cooked, cured chopped meat; and luncheon meat. It agreed to forward a guide for microbiological quality of spices and herbs; a code of hygienic practice for the preservation of shelf-stable cured meat products; guidelines for the use of non-meat proteins and revised Codex standards for processed meat and poultry products for adoption by the Commission.