84. The Committee recalled that a Circular Letter had been sent to seek the views of member countries on the opportunity of revising the Code in view of the need to update a number of references, especially as a result of the conclusion of the WTO Agreements and the work of the Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems.
85. The Committee generally agreed that the Code of Ethics was still needed to provide general guidance for the conduct of international trade, although several texts already covered the issues relating to import/export.
86. The Delegation of Austria, expressing the views within the European Union, stressed the importance of ethical aspects, suggesting that the title of the Code should be amended to reflect more precisely its broadened purpose (viz. "Ethical and General Principles"). It was proposed that the revised text should include the following elements: other legitimate factors; problems related to rejection of consignments on safety grounds; nutrition and health claims; and the status of Codex texts. It was also proposed to introduce a general requirement to limit chemical substances to a reasonable minimum.
87. Other delegations, while supporting the revision of the current text, expressed their objection to the inclusion of new elements such as "other factors", as the Code should focus on ethical issues; in addition, questions concerning the limits for chemical substances in food should be addressed in the framework of the discussion on risk analysis in the CCGP and in other concerned committees.
88. Several delegations supported the inclusion in the Code of a statement on special and differential treatment for developing countries. It was proposed that the Code should be self-standing and would include all of the pertinent provisions coming from other Committees.
89. The Committee agreed that coordination with other concerned committees would be exercised where necessary, especially as regards inspection and certification and food safety matters. As regards health claims, it was recalled that the Committee on Food Labelling was currently elaborating guidelines in this area, and was generally responsible for such matters, in coordination with the Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses.
90. The Committee agreed to propose to the Commission the revision of the Code as new work, following which a revised draft would be prepared by the Secretariat and circulated for comments prior to the 15th Session of the Committee.