Consideration of Potentially Harmful Herbs and Botanical Preparations sold as Foods
105. The Committee recalled that its last session had agreed that Australia would prepare a paper on dietary modelling of nutrient intake. The 42nd Session of the CCEXEC had expressed the view that consideration of dietary models for nutrient intake did not appear to be consistent with the Commission's mandate and requested clarification from the CCNFSDU.
106. The Delegation of Australia introduced the paper (CRD 10) which covered current approaches to dietary modelling of intakes and its role in exposure assessment and risk assessment. The Committee took note of the forthcoming FAO/WHO Consultation on Food Consumption and Exposure Assessment of Chemicals (Geneva, 10-14 February 1997).
107. The Committee noted that dietary modelling could be relevant to its work, particularly in conjunction with the establishment of upper limits for supplementation and fortification, and agreed to circulate the paper for comments, in order to determine future work in this area at the next session.
108. The Committee recalled that, following a proposal by the Coordinating Committee for North America and the South West Pacific, the CCEXEC proposed that work in this area be allocated to CCNFSDU, which should consider the matter and report its findings to the next CCEXEC, in the light of the comments provided by governments.
109. Several delegations pointed out that the toxicity of herbs was essentially a safety problem and had no nutritional implications; moreover, it was the responsibility of national authorities to establish lists of potentially harmful plants on a toxicological basis. The Committee was not therefore competent to deal with this issue, and did not appear to be concerned. It was however suggested that this issue may be considered in the framework of the work undertaken on dietary supplements.
110. Some delegations expressed the view that the establishment of a negative list at the international level would be useful and suggested that an Expert Consultation could deal with this question.
111. The Committee recalled earlier discussions concerning the establishment of criteria for a list of allergens, in conjunction with the work of CCFL concerning labelling issues related to hypersensitivity. The Committee however noted that the FAO Technical Consultation on Food Allergies had proposed such criteria and agreed that there was no need for specific consideration of this issue at this stage.