CONSIDERATION OF THE NEED FOR A CODEX STANDARD FOR FRUIT (BASED) DRINKS WITH A HIGH CONTENT OF FRUIT JUICE
398. The Commission had before it a paper ALINORM 87/32 containing the views and recommendations of Drs. F.M. Clydesdale and R. Sharon (Consultants) on the subject. It had been prepared in response to the proposal recorded in paragraphs 419–420 of the Report of the Sixteenth Session of the Commission (ALINORM 85/47). The Commission had also before it ALINORM 87/37, ALINORM 87/37 - Add 1 and LIM 2 which contained the comments of governments and international organizations on the paper ALINORM 87/32.
399. The Commission noted significant differences of opinion between the two Consultants.
400. The Commission noted that the paper prepared by Dr. Clydesdale considered fruit-based drinks as soft drinks in which juice was an ingredient, and brought attention to the earlier decision of the Commission that work on the elaboration of standards for soft drinks need not be undertaken by the Codex. The main thrust of the paper was that a standard for fruit-based drinks would be unenforceable. The paper emphasized that if a standard could not be enforced, then it would serve no purpose to elaborate it. It also noted that if there were a wish for the consumer to know about the presence of fruit juice in a soft drink, the mechanism was already provided since there was an option of voluntarily labelling juice percentage.
401. In the paper prepared by Dr. Sharon, the Commission noted that trade in fruit-based drinks had been increasing during recent years. Many countries had elaborated national standards or specific legislation for fruit-based drinks while others had no regulations. The paper acknowledged that there would be problems as regards standardization and enforcement of any standard for fruit-based drinks. The paper pointed out that the development of the fruit-based drink industry was expected to have a beneficial impact on the economy of the developing countries since many tropical juices which found use in fruit-based drinks were produced and exported by developing countries.
402. The need for a Codex Standard for fruit-based drinks with a high content of fruit juice did not receive support from the delegations at the session. With the exception of the delegation of Switzerland, the views presented by Dr. Clydesdale were supported by all other delegations which spoke (Belgium, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, United Kingdom, U.S.A., Union of European Soft Drink Manufacturers).
403. The delegation of Switzerland supported the elaboration of a standard for fruit based drinks since in its view, the main components of the drink, fruit juice, nectar and/or concentrate were already standardized and that it was only necessary to reach a minimum agreement on the fruit content, additives and labelling of such products.
404. The Commission agreed that the proposed standard for fruit-based drinks with a high fruit content did not meet the criteria for the establishment of work priorities; drew attention to the difficulties in enforcing the standard; and expressed the view that such products should be considered as soft drinks. The Commission decided not to proceed with the elaboration of a standard for fruit-based drinks with a high fruit content.
CODEX COMMITTEE ON FISH AND FISHERY PRODUCTS
405. The Commission had before it ALINORM 87/18 Parts I and II, the report of the 17th Session of the Committee. Mr. John Race, the Chairman of the Committee, informed the Commission that Dr. Braekkan, the former Chairman of the Committee, was making progress with his illness and sent his best wishes to his friends. Dr.Braekkan was recently made a knight of the Order of St. Olaf, an award for distinguished public service (St. Olavs Orden). The Commission expressed its great appreciation for Dr. Braekkan's work and wished him all the best.
406. The Commission was informed that the Committee had agreed to elaborate a code of Practice for Aquaculture which would concentrate on hygienic practices of importance for final product quality and matters related to consumer protection. Guidance on technical matters would be provided where necessary. The Commission noted that a background paper on aquaculture was under preparation by the FAO Fisheries Department and that the matter had also been discussed by the Coordinating Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, which would provide comments directly to the Fisheries Department of FAO.
407. As regards the development of a standard for shark fins, the Committee had agreed that, as the product was traded in more than one region, a world-wide standard should be developed. The Commission noted that Cuba had prepared a draft world-wide standard for consideration by the Regional Coordinating Committee which it would present for consideration to the Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products.
408. The Commission was also informed that the Committee had decided to commence work on the inclusion of the Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) concept into the Code of Practice for Shrimps and Prawns. The Chairman of the Committee pointed out that this was in line with the decision of the Commission not to endorse the views of the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene on the application of HACCP at the present time.
409. Another important question discussed was the inclusion of new fish species in the Codex Standard for Canned Sardines and Sardine-type Products. Because no species description for Sardine sardinella could be found, the proposal for inclusion had not been pursued. On the other hand, it had been decided that the comparative study procedures previously endorsed by the Commission should be applied, for the first time, with regard to the proposal by Cuba to include the species Ophystonema oglium in the standard. Four testing laboratories had been nominated, of which three had been selected in this particular case, and their reports on samples of the product would be discussed at the Committee's next session. Cuba was providing the necessary samples.
410. The discussions in the Committee on the question of possible international guideline levels for mercury in fish had already been referred to in connection with the report of the Codex Committee on Food Additives (see para 223).
411. With regard to labelling provisions in fish standards the Committee had agreed these should be aligned with the revised text of the General Labelling Standard. Concerning the justification for not including date-marking provisions in the revised Codex Standard for Canned Pacific Salmon, the Committee had reconfirmed its previous view that such provisions were not required (ALINORM 87/18, Appendix XII). The Commission agreed with this view and noted the opinion of the Chairman of the Committee that para 148 of ALINORM 87/22, the report of the Committee on Food Labelling, was not very clear.
412. The Commission was informed that the agenda for the Committee's next session would include the following:
413. As regards the latter subject, the Committee had agreed that the Committee on Processed Meat and Poultry Products should be informed of the potential for incorporation of surimi into meat products in context with that Committee's work on the use of non-meat protein products in processed meat and poultry products.
414. The Commission noted that although it had been agreed to initiate the elaboration of a standard for frozen blocks of whole headless and gutted fish no delegation had offered to elaborate a first draft. The Committee had therefore postponed further work on this standard.
415. The Commission also noted that further comments at Step 6 were being requested on the Draft Standard for Dried Salted Fish.
Consideration at Step 8 of Harmonized Defect Tables in the Codex Standards for Quick Frozen Fillets (ALINORM 87/18, Appendix II)
416. The Commission was informed that this matter had been considered by a Working Group which had met in Bremerhaven in Federal Republic of Germany, immediately prior to the Session of the Committee. The Chairman of the Committee thanked the Federal Republic for hosting the meeting and Dr. Houwing of the Netherlands for chairing the Working Group. The plenary session had agreed with the Harmonized Defect Tables proposed by the Working Group to the standards for cod and haddock, ocean perch, flat fish and hake, and had been of the opinion that the tables would greatly enhance the usefulness of these standards. The Chairman of the Committee proposed adoption at Step 8 of the harmonized tables.
417. The delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany proposed that the tables be retained at Step 7 until the same defects had been further considered in the other quick frozen fish standards. The delegation was of the opinion that at a future meeting universally applicable tables could be elaborated.
418. The delegation of Denmark supported adoption of the presently elaborated harmonized tables in view of their importance in the standards.
Status of the Harmonized Defect Tables
419. The Commission adopted the above Harmonized Defect Tables at Step 8, noting that the adoption of the harmonized tables would require further consequential amendments to the standards, and agreed that the Committee should review the standards and possibly combine them into a single standard.
Consideration at Step 5 of the Draft Standards for (i) Quick Frozen Blocks of Fish Fillets, Minced Fish Flesh and Mixtures of Fillets and Minced Fish Flesh (ALINORM 87/18, Appendix III) and (ii) Quick Frozen Fish Sticks (Fish Fingers) and Fish Portions, Breaded or in Batter (ALINORM 87/18, Appendix IV)
420. The Chairman of the Committee pointed out that good progress had been made on the two standards which were being developed together since fish sticks and fish portions were manufactured from frozen fish blocks and the decisions on one standard had an impact on the other.
421. With regard to the fish blocks standard, the Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling had endorsed a sampling schedule which constituted the first example of a commodity applying the “Instructions on Sampling” just endorsed by the Commission. Other important work related to the standardization of control and inspection measures and procedures and for this purpose an “Inspection Technique for Quick Frozen Fish Blocks” was being elaborated. The Commission was requested to adopt the above standards at Step 5 of the Procedure.
Status of the Standards
422. The Commission adopted the above standards at Step 5.
Consideration at Step 5 of the Draft Code of Practice for Cephalopods (ALINORM 87/18, Appendix VII)
423. The Commission adopted the above Code at Step 5.
Other Matters Arising from the Report of the 17th Session of the Committee
424. The Commission noted that decisions had to be made on the following matters:
(i) Amendments to Standards
425. In line with the Commission's view that Codex Standards should be kept under review, the Chairman of the Committee asked the Commission's approval for initiating amendment procedures for (a) the four standards mentioned in 32(a) and (b) the Standard for Canned Shrimps and Prawns (CODEX STAN 37-1981). The Committee intended to amend the latter standard to make it more consistent with current industry and trade practices in the production, canning and trading of canned shrimp, especially with regard to size ranges.
(ii) Amendment of the Code of Practice for Salted Fish
426. The Committee had decided that the specifications for salt used in the production of dried salted fish which differed in some respects from those for food grade salt should be deleted from the Draft Standard for Dried Salted Fish and introduced in the Code of Practice for Salted Fish. Furthermore, the Committee was considering objective matters of determining the final quality of salted herring during prolonged storage with a view to appending it to the above Code.
427. The Commission approved the course of action proposed under (i) and (ii).
Confirmation of Chairmanship of the Committee
428. The Commission confirmed under Rule IX.10 that the Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products should continue to be under the Chairmanship of the Government of Norway.
FAO/COFI Sub-Committee on Fish Trade - Statement by the Representative of the FAO Fisheries Department
429. The representative of the FAO Fisheries Department informed the Commission that a Sub-Committee on Fish Trade had been established by the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) to serve as a multilateral framework for consultations on international trade in fishery products in line with the Strategy and Programmes of Action endorsed at the 1984 World Fisheries Conference. The report of the First Session of the Sub-Committee had been distributed to delegations (FAO Fisheries Report No. 375).
430. It was noted that the work of the Sub-Committee would include among others formulation of recommendations for the promotion of international quality standards and harmonization of quality control and inspection procedures and regulations in conjunction with the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission.
431. The Sub-Committee had identified certain matters having a negative economic impact on trade in fishery products. It had recognized that improvement in fish quality required considerable additional training efforts at all levels including processing plant workers and factory management and well as the government staff engaged in the registration of processing plants and in pre-shipment inspection. In this regard the Sub-Committee had endorsed the proposal for an Inter-Regional Training Programme on Quality Assurance of Fish and Fishery Products which had now been submitted to UNDP for consideration.
432. Many countries had stressed the value of the International Standards and Codes of Practice prepared by the Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products and had urged that this work should continue, with due consideration given to incorporation of the hazard analysis of critical control point concept (HACCP) in the Codes of Practice. It had been emphasized that the Codex Standards were intended at the minimum requirements for international trade.
433. The Sub-Committee had also recognized that the main problems particularly facing developing countries were to make improvements in the following areas:
434. The representative of the FAO Fisheries Department outlined the many activities of FAO complementary to the work of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
CODEX COMMITTEE ON FOODS FOR SPECIAL DIETARY USES
435. The Commission had before it the report of the 15th Session of the Codex Committee on Foods for Special Dietary Uses (ALINORM 87/26). The report of the Committee was introduced by the Chairman of the Committee, Dr. G. Pahlke (Federal Republic of Germany), who outlined the work of the Committee.
Draft Standard for Follow-up Formula(ALINORM 87/26, Appendix III)
436. The Commission noted that this standard had been discussed extensively by the Committee taking into consideration the views of the 1986 World Health Assembly. The World Health Assembly had concluded that, on nutritional grounds, such products were not necessary in the feeding of infants. However, as explained by the WHO representative to the Committee, this did not mean that a standard could not be elaborated to ensure the appropriateness of the essential composition and quality factors of the product. The Commission also noted that the title of the standard had been changed to “follow-up formula” and that the minimum age limit for the use of the product had been increased to the period from the 6th month onwards.
437. The delegation of Australia stated that it would be indeed difficult to justify the use of follow-up formula on nutritional grounds. Considering, however, that there was a considerable international trade in this product, the delegation of Australia did not oppose the adoption of the Draft Standard for Follow-up Formula. However, the delegation wished to have clarification as to whether follow-up formula was covered by the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. The delegation of India stated its opinion that the product was not covered by the Code.
438. A number of delegations supported the view expressed by the delegation of Australia, while other delegations strongly supported the adoption of the Draft Standard for Follow-up Formula. The delegation of Norway opposed the development of the standard and indicated that Norway would pursue the matter of bringing the marketing of the product under appropriate discipline.
439. The WHO Joint Secretary informed the Commission that the Standard for Follow-up Formula covered only products that were intended as part of infants weaning diet and, therefore, did not fall under the WHO Code of Marketing mentioned above. The product would, however, be covered by the Code of Ethics for International Trade in Foods.
440. Various delegations made comments of a technical nature. The delegation of Denmark indicated that it objected to certain aspects of the sections on food additives and vitamins. The delegation of Italy was of the opinion that the product could be used for infants from the age of four months onwards. The delegation of India was of the opinion that follow-up formula could be mistaken by the consumer to be a breast-milk substitute and that the label of the product should, therefore, make it quite clear that this was not so. The delegation of Egypt was of the view that the provision for minimum protein content should be of 4.5 g. The delegation of Hungary was of the opinion that vitamin D should not be added to this product, since administration of vitamin D was done in Hungary as a public health measure by other means and the consumption of follow-up formula containing vitamin D could give rise to an overdose of the vitamin. The delegation of Argentina indicated that it had difficulties in accepting all the food additives included in the standard. The international Pectin Producers Organization suggested that, in section 4.1.8, the words in brackets following the provision for “pectins” should be deleted. The Commission concurred with such deletion. The delegation of Mexico provided information to the Secretariat concerning corrections to the Spanish text of the standard.
Status of the Standard
441. The Commission adopted the Draft Standard for Follow-up Formula at Step 8 of the Procedure.
Draft Guidelines for Use by Codex Committees on the Inclusion of Provisions on Nutritional Quality in Food Standards and Other Codex Texts (ALINORM 87/26, Appendix IV)
442. The Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Pahlke, informed the Commission that the Committee had finalized the Guidelines and had recommended its adoption at Step 8. However, the concept of nutrient density had not yet been finalized and would be reconsidered at the next session. The delegation of Brazil indicated that the definitions in Sections 3.5 and 3.6 appeared to be not complete as they did not cover situations where nutrients were added in the concept of nutritional policies.
Status of the Guidelines
443. The Commission adopted the Guidelines at Step 8 of the Procedure.
General Principles for the Addition of Essential Nutrients to Foods
(ALINORM 87/26, Appendix V)
444. The Commission was informed that the Committee had changed the title of the General Principles by introducing the term “Essential” in relation to nutrients. As with the Guidelines mentioned above, the question of nutritional density required further consideration. The Committee had recommended that the Commission approve the General Principles and had expressed the opinion that the Step Procedure need not be followed.
445. The delegation of the Netherlands indicated that it had problems accepting Section 5.2 of the General Principles which indicated that a food should be considered to be a significant source of an essential nutrient if it was consumed in amounts equal to or greater than 10%. As this was a rather basic provision which had not yet been finalized by the Committee, the delegation expressed the view that the General Principles should not be adopted but should be reconsidered by the Committee.
446. The delegation of Switzerland referred to para. 148 of the Committee's report and stressed the need for developing two further definitions, one for the term “Standardization” and another for “Supplementation”. As the Committee had deferred discussion of this matter, the delegation shared the view expressed by the delegation of the Netherlands that the General Principles be returned to the Committee for further consideration.
Status of the General Principles
447. The Commission noted that some matters were still under review by the Committee, but decided to adopt the General Principles for inclusion in the appropriate Volume of the Codex Alimentarius.
Proposed Amendments to the Codex Standards for Infant Foods at Step 8 of the Procedure (ALINORM 87/26, Appendix VII)
448. The Commission had before it a number of draft amendments to the Codex Standards for Processed Cereal-Based Foods for Infants and Children and for Canned Baby Foods concerning provisions for food additives. It also considered an amendment to the requirement for vitamin D in the Codex Standard for Infant Formula.
449. The delegation of China was of the opinion that a number of the Codex methods for the determination of vitamins in Codex Standards for Infants and Children should be amended in the light of developments in the field of analysis. It agreed to make available information to the Codex Committee on Foods for Special Dietary Uses. Regarding the Codex Standard for Infant Formula, the delegation of China was of the opinion that the product produced in conformity with the Codex Standard for Infant Formula was expensive and, therefore, not easily available to all consumers. There was a need, therefore, for a standard for infant formula which could be prepared using indigenous raw materials and which would be suitable for developing countries.
450. The Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Pahlke, undertook to bring the questions raised by the delegation of China to the attention of the Codex Committee on Foods for Special Dietary Uses.
451. The Commission adopted the amendments contained in Part 4 of Appendix VII at Step 8.
Guidelines on the Development of Formulated Supplementary Foods for Older Infants and Young Children (ALINORM 87/26, Appendix VI)
452. The Commission advanced the above Guidelines to Step 6 of the Procedure.
Other Matters Arising From the 15th Session of the Committee
453. The Commission considered a number of issues included in document ALINORM 87/21 as follows:-
The Name of the Committee
454. On the proposal of the Committee, the Commission agreed to amend the name of the Committee to read “Codex Committee for Nutrition and Special Dietary Uses” in order to take into account the extended terms of reference as approved by the 15th Session of the Commission.
Consideration of the Elaboration of Recommended Daily Allowances for Labelling Purposes
455. The Commission noted that the Committee had discussed the need to elaborate, by a Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation, recommended daily allowances for various nutrients for labelling purposes. The Director of the FAO Food Policy and Nutrition Division, Dr. P. Lunven, outlined the activities of FAO and WHO in the field of allowances for essential nutrients and energy from food. He expressed the opinion that the development of recommended daily allowances for nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, represented a delicate and difficult question. This was so, since such allowances depended on a number of factors, such as age, sex and other considerations. He especially pointed out that there was lack of agreement among scientists even at the national level. Holding of a Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on this question would be preferable following agreement at the scientific level.
456. A number of delegations were of the opinion that FAO should take initiative in collecting information on recommended daily allowances and other relevant information in preparation for possibly convening an expert group to discuss the matter. The suggestion was made that, if an expert group could not be convened to consider the question of recommended daily allowances, the collecting of information on recommended daily allowances should be considered, probably by engaging a consultant to prepare a report on the subject.
457. The Commission noted para. 54 of the report of the Codex Committee for Foods for Special Dietary Uses in which the recommendations of the Committee and the procedure to be followed regarding the establishment of recommended daily allowances was clearly stated. It requested the Secretariat to take appropriate steps, e.g. through the distribution of a Circular Letter, to obtain information on recommended daily allowances as requested by the various delegations and the parent organizations to explore the possibility of convening an expert group to consider the matter.
Amendment of the Advisory Lists of Mineral Salts and Vitamin Compounds for Use in Foods for Infants and Children
458. The Commission concurred with the proposal of the Committee concerning the procedure to be followed for the amendment of the Advisory Lists as outlined in paras. 178–181 and Annex I to Appendix XII, ALINORM 87/26.
Proposed Draft Standard for the Labelling of and Claims for, Pre-Packaged Foods Claimed to be Suitable for Diabetics
459. The Commission was informed that the above standard had been under consideration for a number of years. In view of extensive differences in the approach to dealing with the subject, no agreement could be reached by the Committee on the format and content of a standard. The Committee had, therefore, recommended that the development of a standard in the area of labelling with reference to diabetic foods be postponed. The Commission concurred with the decision of the Committee.
460. The observer from the International Society of Dietetic, including all Infant and Children Food, Industries informed the Commission that his organization, in cooperation with WHO, was developing a scientific platform for discussions of diabetic foods. Following further developments in this forum, it might be possible to take up the question of labelling of diabetic foods at a later stage.
Confirmation of Chairmanship
461. The Commission confirmed under Rule IX.10 that the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses should continue under the Chairmanship of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
CODEX COMMITTEE ON CEREALS, PULSES AND LEGUMES
462. The Commission had before it ALINORM 87/29 the Report of the Fifth Session of the Committee. In introducing the Report the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. D.R. Galliart informed the Commission that good progress had been made on the draft standards under discussion and that several of these standards were being submitted to the Commission for adoption at Steps 5 or 8.
463. Mr. Galliart informed the Commission that ISO was in the process of finalizing the specification for rice which included milled rice. In accordance with the decisions of the 33rd Session of the Executive Committee and following the procedure approved by the Commission, the Secretariat would submit the ISO specification to the coordinating committees for comments. Subsequently, the Committee on Cereals, Pulses and Legumes would examine the specification together with the views of the coordinating committees and recommend to the Commission whether the Codex Standard for Milled Rice should be elaborated.
464. The Chairman of the Committee recalled that the 16th Session of the Commission had referred the Draft African Regional Standard for Sorghum Grains to the Committee for further elaboration as a world-wide standard. Prior to the Session of the Committee a revised version had been prepared which could not take into account government comments due to late arrival of these comments. The Committee had considered the Standard and had decided that it should be returned to Step 6 of the Procedure in view of the extensive changes and the need to have more comments on important provisions of the Standard. The Commission agreed with this decision.
Durum Wheat Flour and Semolina
465. The Commission was informed that the Committee had examined a background paper and a first draft of a Standard for Durum Wheat Flour and Semolina and had decided to develop such a standard. Presently, comments were requested at Step 3 of the Procedure.
Consideration at Step 8 of Draft Standard for Certain Pulses (ALINORM 87/29, Appendix II)
466. The Chairman of the Committee informed the Commission that comments and proposals for amendment to the above Standard had been submitted and were available in documents ALINORM 87/38 Part I, LIM 18 and two papers presented by the International Pulse Trade and Industry Confederation.
467. Mr. Galliart pointed out that the Standard had been thoroughly discussed at the Fifth Session of the Committee. The detailed sections on defects and tolerances had been the subject of discussion by a technical working party. He informed the Commission that the sections requiring endorsement had been submitted to the respective committees.
468. Referring to the comments submitted to the Commission, the Chairman of the Committee stated that it had not been possible to resolve the question of moisture content to the full satisfaction of the Committee as a whole, since the moisture contents of products which were not processed, such as pulses, depended on local conditions. Concerning the comments from the International Pulse Trade and Industry Confederation on the country of origin the Committee had after a lengthy debate agreed not to deviate from the General Labelling Standard. The Chairman of the Committee appreciated the information provided by the Confederation on nomenclature and stated that he would take this matter up at the next Session of the Committee. Mr. Galliart informed the Commission that the Committee had recognized the problems with the nomenclature of, and common names for, pulses and had therefore not included detailed provisions in the Standard. The listing in para 166 was intended to provide some guidance on these matters. The Chairman of the Committee proposed that the Standard be adopted at Step 8 of the Procedure.
469. The delegation of Brazil indicated that pulses represented an important staple food in Brazil and that it attached special importance to this Standard. Three major aspects of the Standard should be further considered, namely: moisture content, definitions of defects and quality tolerances. With regard to moisture content, the maximum levels presently included in the Standard were not appropriate under the climatic conditions in tropical countries and promoted the formation of moulds. On the other hand artificial drying resulting in cracks and other defects would make the product susceptible to the development of aflatoxins. The delegation was of the opinion that most tropical countries might be able to accept maximum moisture levels of 14%.
470. The statement of the delegation of Brazil was supported by the delegations of Argentina, Cuba, Tanzania, Mexico and India. The latter country proposed maximum levels of 14% for lentils and 16% for other pulses.
471. The delegation of France informed the Commission of certain errors in the French version of the draft standard concerning nomenclature. The Commission agreed that these comments should be sent in writing to the Secretariat.
Status of the Standard
472. The Commission decided to return the Draft Standard for Certain Pulses to Step 6 of the Procedure in view of the comments made by governments. The Chairman of the Committee recognized the difficulty of establishing maximum levels for moisture content in unprocessed products and indicated that the Committee might have to consider developing an appropriate concept for the establishment of such parameters not only in this standard but also in standards of other products such as sorghum grains.
Consideration at Step 5 of the Proposed Draft Standard for Sorghum Flour (ALINORM 87/24, Appendix IV)
473. The Chairman of the Committee recalled that this Standard had been transferred from the Coordinating Committee for Africa and that its scope had been extended to world-wide coverage. The Committee had given consideration to a revised draft which included updated labelling provisions and a revised section on methods of analysis. Mr. Galliart requested that this Standard should be adopted at Step 5 of the Procedure.
474. The Commission decided that the detailed technical comments from Brazil and Tanzania should be considered by the Committee at its next session.
Status of the Standard
475. The Commission advanced the Proposed Draft Standard for Sorghum Flour to Step 6 of the Procedure.
Matters Arising from the Report of the 5th Session of the Committee
476. The Commission was informed that the Committee had revised the labelling provisions in the finalized standards as well as those under elaboration to align them with the Revised General Labelling Standard. The amendments contained in Appendix XI had been classified as editorial and consequential, and had been submitted to the Committee on Food Labelling for endorsement. The Commission agreed with the request of the Chairman of the Committee that the Secretariat should take action on these amendments as appropriate.
(ii) Fat Acidity
477. The Commission was informed that the present value for fat acidity in Section 3.3.3 of the Codex Standard for Wheat Flour was not acceptable to many countries. The Committee had agreed that the value should be raised to 50 mg KOH retaining the present Type I Method. The Commission approved the initiation of the amendment procedure.
(iii) Food Additives
478. The Chairman of the Committee recalled that a number of food additives originally included in the standard for wheat flour had not been endorsed by the Committee on Food Additives due to lack of a technological justification. The 5th Session of the Committee on Cereals, Pulses and Legumes had prepared a comprehensive justification paper for submission to the 19th Session of the Committee on Food Additives. The paper had been made available to that Committee but had not been distributed to delegates. The Commission requested the Committee on Food Additives to reconsider the endorsements in the light of the technological justifications provided.
479. Mr. Galliart also informed the Commission that enzyme preparations from Aspergillus oryzae had not been included in the published text of the standard for wheat flour since they had at that time not been evaluated by JECFA. The 31st Session of JECFA had, however, evaluated these enzymes and it was expected that they would now be endorsed by the Committee on Food Additives. The Commission agreed that it was not necessary in this case to follow the amendment procedure.
480. Mr. P. Rossier of Switzerland informed the Commission that the survey on contaminants in cereals and pulses was continuing and that a new circular letter (CL 1987/17) had been issued. He invited governments to submit their data as soon as possible.
481. The representative of the International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (ICC) offered the Association's continuing collaboration with the work of the Committee on Cereals, Pulses and Legumes. A report of ICC activities was contained in paragraphs 28–32 of ALINORM 87/29.
Confirmation of Chairmanship
482. The Commission confirmed under Rule IX.10 that the Codex Committee on Cereals, Pulses and Legumes should continue to be under the Chairmanship of the Government of the United States of America.
COMMITTEE ON VEGETABLE PROTEINS
483. The Commission had before it the report of the 4th Session of the Codex Committee on Vegetable Proteins (ALINORM 87/30) and the Draft Standard for Wheat Gluten (Appendix VII, ALINORM 87/30) at Step 8. The Chairman of the Committee, Dr. N. Tape (Canada), introduced the report of the Committee. He indicated that the last meeting was unique in that it was the first time that a Codex Committee had been held in a developing country, i.e. Cuba. Dr. Tape expressed his thanks for the excellent facilities which the Government of Cuba had made available to the Committee.
Draft Standard for Wheat Gluten (Appendix VII, ALINORM 87/30)
484. The Commission noted that the Codex Committee on Vegetable Proteins had agreed on a figure of 80% for minimum protein content and had made certain consequential changes in the labelling section of the Standard. Dr. Tape recalled that the original draft of the Standard had been prepared by Finland.
Status of the Standard
485. The Commission adopted the Draft Standard for Wheat Gluten at Step 8 of the Procedure.
Various Matters Arising from the Report of the Committee
486. Dr. Tape summarized the various matters discussed at the last session of the Committee and the conclusions reached.
Draft International General Standard for Vegetable Protein Products (ALINORM 87/30, Appendix V)
487. The Commission was informed that the above General Standard had been reviewed and that the relationship between this General Standard and the various specific Vegetable Protein Standards had been clarified. Since there were a number of matters still to be finalized, e.g. food additives, contaminants and other matters, the Committee had decided to return the General Standard to Step 6 for further government comments.
Draft Standard for Soy Protein Products (ALINORM 87/30, Appendix VI)
488. The Commission was informed that, as in the case of the General Standard above, a number of matters still required further consideration. This included provisions for food additives and contaminants and setting limits and methods of analysis for trypsin inhibitors in soy protein. The Committee had therefore decided to return this Standard to Step 6 of the Procedure.
Draft General Guidelines for the Utilization of Vegetable Protein Products in Foods (ALINORM 87/30, Appendix IV)
489. The Commission was informed that the Committee at its 4th Session had made a number of changes to the Draft General Guidelines and had resolved the only remaining substantive matter which concerned the labelling of an animal food product in which a part or all of the animal protein had been substituted by a vegetable protein product. In particular, Section 3 on Definitions and Section 6 on the Uses of Vegetable Protein Products Intended to Increase the Content of Utilizable Protein had been discussed in response to a request by the Codex Committee on Foods for Special Dietary Uses. It was the intention of the Committee that they be submitted to that Committee for comment and that the Guidelines be further considered at the next session in the light of the comments of the Codex Committee on Foods for Special Dietary Uses and comments from governments at Step 6.
Vegetable Protein Production
490. The Commission was informed that the Committee had up-dated the report prepared in 1978 on the request of the Commission describing the global status of vegetable protein production and utilization. As several delegations had undertaken to provide further information, the Committee had agreed to review the report at its next session.
Protein Quality Measurement
491. The Committee had received further information regarding the development of a more rapid and less expensive method for the determination of protein quality. It had also agreed that it was premature to recommend a change to the traditional PER method and decided to consider a report on this topic at its next session.
Quantitative Methods for the Differentiation of Vegetable and Animal Proteins.
492. The Commission noted that the Committee had discussed developments in the method of determination of these proteins in food, but had noted that it was still extremely difficult to achieve an analytical differentiation. It had decided to monitor developments in this area.
Guidelines Concerning the Use of Vegetable Proteins and Milk Proteins in Processed Meat and Poultry Products
493. As requested by the 15th Session of the Commission, the Committee had reviewed the Draft Guidelines being developed by the Codex Committee on Processed Meat and Poultry Products. The Committee had recommended that these Guidelines should be reviewed by that Committee in the light of the General Guidelines for the Utilization of Vegetable Protein Products in Foods, in order to prevent the introduction of inconsistencies. The Commission concurred with the conclusion of the Committee.
Future Programme of Work
494. The Commission noted that the Committee had sufficient future work and also noted that the conclusions of the Committee that there was no need for the elaboration of a standard for potato protein and soya-based beverages.
Confirmation of Chairmanship
495. The Commission confirmed under Rule IX.10 that the Codex Committee on Vegetable Proteins should continue to be under the Chairmanship of the Government of Canada.
JOINT FAO/WHO COMMITTEE OF GOVERNMENT EXPERTS ON THE CODE OF PRINCIPLES CONCERNING MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS
496. The Report of the 21st Session of the Joint FAO/WHO Committee of Government Experts on the Code of Principles Concerning Milk and Milk Products (CX 5/70 - 21st Session) was introduced by one of the Vice-Chairmen of the Committee, Mr. G.A. Bastin (Federal Republic of Germany), who gave an outline of the main achievement of the 21st Session of the Committee.
497. The Committee had embarked upon the elaboration of Group Standards for Cheeses in brine, which because of their keeping quality under adverse conditions were of special interest to developing countries. In addition it had undertaken work on the elaboration of a standard for low fat dairy spreads, fresh casein and whey powder. The Committee was also revising standard No. A-2 Milk Fat Products including ghee which was of considerable interest to developing countries.
498. The Committee had agreed to elaborate a Code of Practice on Raw Milk Preservation using the Lactoperoxidase System, which could be used for preservation of raw milk and which could prove useful especially to the developing countries in the early stage of development of a dairy industry. The Commission noted that the first draft of the Code of Practice would soon be finalized and sent to governments for comments.
499. The Committee agreed that it should not concern itself with elaboration of Guidelines for the Use of Milk Proteins in Non-Milk Products, however, it declared itself willing to assist other committees in the preparation of such guidelines, if needed. The Committee adopted a definition for Milk Protein Products (para 120) to meet the requirements of the Codex Committee on Processed Meat and Poultry Products, which is presently elaborating guidelines for the use of Vegetable Protein Products and Milk Protein Products in Processed Meat and Poultry Products.
500. On the subject of methods of sampling and methods of analysis, the Committee had received a report from representatives of IDF/ISO/AOAC on their work done in this field. The Committee had been impressed with the excellent work carried out by these organizations in the field of analysis and sampling and noted that the tripartite cooperation between the organizations, which had been initiated some 20 years ago had become a model of cooperation. The Commission noted that the numerous methods agreed on at the Session might shortly be published.
501. The delegation of Egypt stated that in its country, for all standards concerning milk products, a complete list of ingredients must be declared; the country of manufacture must be stated; and for non-retail containers the date of manufacture and the period of minimum durability must be stated.
502. The Commission noted that the Committee stressed the need to pay attention to health considerations (e.g., contamination by toxic residues) relating to milk and milk products, and noted especially that the recent accident involving a nuclear power plant had demonstrated the lack of an agreed approach to dealing with scientific and health aspects of radioactive contamination of food. The Committee recommended that FAO, WHO and Codex should give consideration to dealing with the contamination of food with radionuclides.
503. The Commission noted that the Milk Committee had its own procedures for elaboration of standards/codes of practice and was autonomous as regards their adoption. It noted the technical comments of the various delegations on the programmes of work of the Milk Committee and asked the Secretariat to transmit them directly to the Committee.
Matters Arising from the Report of the 21st Session of the Committee Working arrangements to facilitate and expedite work decided upon by the Committee in between the Committee's Sessions:
504. The Commission noted that at its 16th Session it had decided that the Milk Committee need not adjourn sine die but that it could meet no more frequently than once every second FAO financial biennium should, in the opinion of the Commission, such a session be warranted (ALINORM 85/47, paras 139–144).
505. The Milk Committee at its 21st Session agreed that there was a need to provide for a mechanism to facilitate and expedite work decided upon by the Committee in between the Committee's sessions. It therefore agreed to establish a Steering Group consisting of the Chairman, the two Vice-Chairmen and the Secretariat for this purpose. It also recommended that the Steering Group meet on an annual basis.
506. The Terms of Reference of the Steering Group were defined as follows:
To arrange for the execution and follow-up of the work decided upon by the Milk Committee, including reviewing of comments and developing an appropriate response; and
To coordinate the development of documents and to ensure their distribution involving the Milk Committee, other Codex Committees concerned and the IDF.
507. The Commission endorsed the mechanism suggested by the Milk Committee to expedite its work in between the Committee's sessions on the understanding that it should not result in additional costs to the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
REPORT ON THE OUTCOME OF A MEETING CONVENED BY THE INTERNATIONAL OLIVE OIL COUNCIL (IOOC) TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS PROPOSED TO THE CODEX STANDARD FOR TABLE OLIVES
Consideration at Step 8 of Draft Revised Text of Codex Standard for Table Olives (ALINORM 87/28, Appendix I)
508. The Commission had before it the above Report as contained in ALINORM 87/28 and the revised text of the Codex Standard for Table Olives (CODEX STAN 66-1981) in Appendix I. A Corrigendum had been issued to align the editorial differences in the different language versions and to clarify the status of the defect tables and quality classification which form an Appendix to the above Standard.
509. The paper was introduced by Mrs. B. Pajuelo, the Representative of the IOOC. Mrs. Pajuelo recalled that the 15th Session of the Commission had decided on amending the Standard for Table Olives to bring it into line with the IOOC trade standard. The IOOC had kindly agreed to carry out the revision of the Codex Standard through special meetings with representatives of Codex member countries under Codex procedures.
510. The 54th Session of the International Olive Oil Council which had met in April 1986 had advanced the revised Standard to Step 8 of the Procedure after full consideration by the Third Special Meeting of the IOOC Expert Committee on Table Olives with representatives of Codex member countries. Mrs. Pajuelo informed the Commission that the sections on food additves, contaminants, hygiene, labelling and methods of analysis and sampling had been endorsed by the respective committees with the exception of very few provisions which would not be included in the final standard in accordance with Codex customs. The Representative of IOOC requested the Commission to adopt the revised Standard at Step 8 of the Procedure.
511. The delegation of Argentina presented written comments concerning a number of provisions which were in conflict because of their complexity and indicated that it considered the Standard to be excessively detailed especially concerning presentation and the defect tables, furthermore, ferrous lactate and the flavour enhancers were not authorized in Argentina.
Status of the Standard
512. The Commission adopted at Step 8 the Revised Text of the Codex Standard for Table Olives. The Commission expressed its appreciation for the excellent work done by the International Olive Oil Council in assisting the Commission to harmonize Codex standards with the standards developed by bodies dealing with specific commodities.
CODEX COMMITTEE ON SUGARS
Progress Report on Methods of Analysis and Sampling and on Contaminants in Codex Standards for Sugars
513. The Commission had before it the above progress report as contained in ALINORM 87/27 and additional information on lead limits in Codex standards for sugars arising from the 17th Session of the Codex Committee on Food Additives (LIM 24). Mr. Charles Cockbill of the United Kingdom introduced the progress report which had been prepared by the UK Secretariat of the Committee. The Committee on Sugars had adjourned sine die in 1974 and work on several matters was continuing by correspondence.
514. Mr. Cockbill pointed out that a revised paper on methods of analysis for sugars was being prepared and would be distributed to governments for comments. The paper and the comments would be submitted to the next session of the Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling for endorsement. He indicated that if the latter Committee also suggested the revision of sampling procedures in sugar standards, the UK Secretariat would prepare the necessary paper.
515. Part B of ALINORM 87/27 concerning lead levels in sugar referred to the work undertaken by the Codex Committee on Food Additives on lead levels in sugars. The Commission noted that the levels included in the existing standards had been endorsed temporarily. The revised, reduced lead levels proposed by the Committee on Food Additives had also been endorsed temporarily. It was noted that agreement was needed on a suitable method which would permit the detection of very small amounts of lead in sugars. The Commission was also informed that provisional levels for lead had been established by JECFA on a temporary basis.
516. The Commission decided that the UK Secretariat should initiate the amendment procedure to include the revised lead levels in the standards for sugars since lead levels in sugars were considered to have public health implications. It was expected that by the time the amendment had progressed appropriate methodology would be available for inclusion in the standards concerned.
517. The Commission was informed that the UK Secretariat in cooperation with the Codex Secretariat would start the revision of the labelling provisions in Codex standards shortly, according to the procedure confirmed earlier during this session.
518. Mr. Cockbill confirmed that in accordance with the decisions of the Commission to elaborate a world-wide standard for sugars the United Kingdom had retained the view that this matter is appropriate for the Committee on Sugars. Even though the elaboration of Steps 1, 2 and 3 for this Standard will be carried by the Coordinating Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Committee on Sugars would be handling the elaboration of the Standard from Step 4 onward as decided on in Item 27.
519. The Observer of ISO informed the Commission that ISO/TC 93 on Starch Hydrolysis Products would organize a meeting soon and offered its cooperation in the field of methods of analysis for starch hydrolysis products.
520. The delegation of India indicated that problems had arisen from the presence of iron filings in sugars and, in particular, imported products. It pointed out that this was a public health problem to which attention should be given by the Committee. The Commission noted that this problem might be of a general nature and in order to determine in which subsidiary body it could be considered the delegation of India was invited to provide detailed information to the Codex Secretariat.
Confirmation of Chairmanship of the Committee
521. The Commission confirmed under Rule IX.10 that the Codex Committee on Sugars should continue to be under the Chairmanship of the United Kingdom.
CODEX COMMITTEE ON PROCESSED MEAT AND POULTRY PRODUCTS
522. The Commission confirmed, under Rule IX.10, that the Codex Committee on Processed Meat and Poultry Products should continue under the Chairmanship of Denmark.
CODEX COMMITTEE ON MEAT HYGIENE
Confirmation of Chairmanship of the Committee
523. The Commission confirmed, under Rule IX.10, that the Codex Committee on Meat Hygiene should continue under the Chairmanship of New Zealand. It noted that the Committee remained adjourned sine die.
524. The delegation of the U.S.A. noted that changes in practices applied to meat inspection and hygiene may require that the Committee be convened in the near future.
CODEX COMMITTEE ON COCOA PRODUCTS AND CHOCOLATE
525. The Commission was informed by the delegation of Switzerland that the International Office of Cocoa, Chocolate and Sugar confectionery was planning to review its standard methods of analysis included in certain Codex Standards. The International Office would liaise with the Secretariat of the Committee so that a review of the Codex Standards for Cocoa Products and Chocolate could be carried out with respect to methods of analysis.
Confirmation of Chairmanship of the Committee
526. The Commission confirmed under Rule IX.10 that the Codex Committee on Cocoa Products and Chocolate should continue under the Chairmanship of Switzerland. It noted that the Committee remained adjourned sine die.
CODEX COMMITTEE FOR SOUPS AND BROTHS
Standard for Bouillons and Consommés (Codex STAN 117-1981)
527. The Commission noted that the following methods of analysis included in the standard had been endorsed by the Fifteenth Session of the Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling:-
528. The Commission adopted the above methods and instructed the Secretariat to issue an amendment to the standard published in Volume IV of the Codex Alimentarius.
Confirmation of Chairmanship of the Committee
529. The Commission confirmed under Rule IX.10 that the Codex Committee on Soups and Broths should continue under the Chairmanship of Switzerland. It noted that the Committee remained adjourned sine die.
CODEX COMMITTEE ON EDIBLE ICES
Confirmation of Chairmanship of the Committee
530. The Commission confirmed under Rule IX.10 that the Codex Committee on Edible Ices should continue under the Chairmanship of Sweden. It noted that the Committee remained adjourned sine die.
CODEX COMMITTEE ON NATURAL MINERAL WATERS
Confirmation of Chairmanship of the Committee
531. The Commission confirmed under Rule IX.10 that the Codex Committee on Natural Mineral Waters should continue under the Chairmanship of Switzerland. It noted that the Committee remained adjourned sine die.
532. Delegations raised the following proposals for future work:
elaboration of standards for tea, coffee, spices and condiments such as vanilla and pepper (Indonesia)
studies of the impact of food additives and contaminants on different under-nourished groups in the population (Egypt)
examination of the use of organic bromides used as fumigants (India)
elaboration of standards for alcoholic beverages and wines (Tanzania)
standardization of iodine content in iodized salt (India)
impact of standards for infant formula and nutritional standards for infant feeding (Kuwait)
exchange of information on the practical application, control and enforcement of Codex standards (Sweden)
control of products rejected by one country but offered for import into another country (Indonesia)
harmonization of provisions for certification of foods moving in trade (Norway)
development of procedures for the formal adoption, by the Commission, of the reports of its subsidiary bodies (Norway, United Kingdom).
533. Referring to the proposal to elaborate standards for tea, coffee, spices and condiments, the Commission noted the work of ISO in this area and that ISO Standard 3720 “Black Tea - Specifications” had been considered by both the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the FAO Inter-governmental Group on Tea.
534. The Commission referred the matter of nutritional status in relation to toxicological studies of food additives and contaminants to FAO and WHO for consideration by the appropriate expert groups. It also referred the matter of organic bromides to the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues; and the subject of iodine in iodized salt and questions relating to infant feeding to the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses.
535. Several delegations reiterated points made during the discussion by the Eighth Session of the Committee on General Principles on the advisability of elaborating standards for alcoholic beverages and, noting the problems associated with elaborating standards for such a diverse range of products, the Commission confirmed the view of the Committee that such products should not be the subject of standards elaborated by the Commission.
536. The Commission encouraged Regional Coordinating Committees to continue to act as focal points on exchange of information concerning the practical application, control and enforcement of Codex standards through effective national food control systems, and noted the work of FAO and WHO which supported such programmes at the national level.
537. The Commission concluded that questions relating to trade documentation were best handled by other responsible agencies such as the Customs Cooperation Council, the Customs Union, and the Committee on the Development of Trade of the UNECE.
538. Referring to the proposal for the development of procedures for the formal adoption of reports, the Commission noted the views of the delegations of Cuba and the Federal Republic of Germany that such a practice could lead to difficulties in the preparation of reports and would tend to restrict the inclusion of valuable technical information. It would also create an anomalous situation when the Commission might be asked to adopt texts which were not yet considered suitable for adoption by the subsidiary body. There seemed to be scope to extend the current information document on “Matters of Interest” (see for example ALINORM 87/21) to take such considerations into account. The Commission agreed to refer this matter to the Executive Committee for general consideration.
PROVISIONAL TIMETABLE OF CODEX SESSIONS FOR 1988–89
539. The Commission had before it document ALINORM 87/45 containing the provisional timetable for 1988/89. It noted that in addition to the meetings in this period the second session of the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods would be held in Washington, D.C. from 30 November to 4 December 1987.
540. The Commission was informed that:
the Sixth Session of the Coordinating Committee for Asia would be held at Denpasar, Bali, 26 January to 1 February 1988;
the Twentieth Session of the Codex Committee on Food Additives would be held in The Hague, 4 – 12 March 1988;
the Eighteenth Session of the Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products would be held at Bergen, 2 – 6 May 1988;
the Twenty-First Session of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues would be held in The Hague, 10–17 April 1989.
541. The delegations of Australia and New Zealand requested the Secretariat and the host governments of the Committees on Food Additives, Food Labelling and Food Hygiene to see what could be done to hold sessions of these Committees in consecutive weeks wherever possible so as to minimize costs of participation of delegations from this distant region.
542. The delegation of Mexico stated that it would hold discussions with the Secretariat to hold the First Session of the Codex Committee on Fresh Tropical Fruits and Vegetables in early 1988.
543. The delegation of Australia, noting the importance of the subjects referred to the Committee on General Principles for its consideration, proposed that the Ninth Session of the Committee should be held in advance of the Thirty-Fifth Session of the Executive Committee.
544. Several delegations, drawing attention to the problems of holding sessions of the Commission in July, especially when the session was held in Rome, proposed that forthcoming sessions be held in the period September/November. The Secretariat agreed to take this into account when planning for the 1990/91 biennium.
546. The Commission recorded its sincere appreciation to the Chairman, Mr. E. Kimbrell, for his strong personal contribution to the work of the Commission during his tenure of office as Chairman, and for his guidance in a period in which the Commission had decided to change the direction of its programme of work. It also extended its sincere condolences to Mr. Kimbrell for the sad death of a member of his close family which required him to be absent for the latter part of the Session.
547. The Commission also recorded its sincere appreciation to two former members of the Joint FAO/WHO Secretariat who had recently retired; Mr. H.J. McNally, former FAO Joint Secretary to the Commission, and Mr. J. Hutchinson. Both had held positions of senior responsibility and had provided valuable guidance to the Commission and its subsidiary bodies over many years. The Commission wished them well in their future activities.
548. The Commission also expressed its appreciation of the work of Dr. E. Mendez, who as Vice-Chairman of the Commission had taken responsibility for a major part of the Session at short notice when, for family reasons, the Chairman was absent.