9. The Task Force noted that in line with its terms of reference, that when elaborating standards, guidelines, or other principles, as appropriate, for foods derived from biotechnology it should take full account of existing work carried out by national authorities, FAO, WHO, other international organizations and other relevant international fora. The document before the Task Force provided information on the following:
10. The Representative of the World Trade Organization (WTO) reported that there had been over 40 notifications relating to biotechnology under the Transparency provisions of the Agreement on the Application on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) and over 30 notifications under the same provisions of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement). The Representative noted that this information and other unrestricted documents of the WTO were available from the WTO website, and unrestricted SPS documents also through a public email subscription list.
11. The Representative of FAO informed the Task Force that FAO and WHO had convened a preliminary meeting in Rome on 27 February 2001 to discuss ways and means of responding to the request of the G-8 to organize regular meetings of food safety regulators to advance the process of science-based public consultations on food safety issues. At the present time it was envisaged that such a meeting would be held in October 2001 and that preparations, in consultation with Member governments of FAO and WHO, would be developed during May 2001.
12. The Representative of the WHO highlighted the procedures used for the identification and selection of experts for the FAO/WHO Expert Consultations on Foods derived from Biotechnology and for Microbiological Risk Assessment. In response to a question from Thailand, it was noted that Codex Contact Points were invited to submit names and curricula vitae of potential experts for these Consultations. However, since the appointment of experts to expert panels was made on the basis of the experts personal capacities and not as a representative of her or his Member government, Codex Contact Points were not consulted on this aspect.
REPLY BY THE 2000 FAO/WHO EXPERT CONSULTATION ON FOODS DERIVED FROM BIOTECHNOLOGY TO THE QUESTIONS FROM THE FIRST SESSION OF THE TASK FORCE
13. The Task Force recalled that at its First Session it had requested the scientific advice of the FAO/WHO Expert Consultation to five specific questions, namely
14. The Task Force noted that the responses of the 2000 Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation as contained in Annex 1 to document CX/FBT 01/3 represented the current state of scientific opinion and were subject to further development as more scientific information came to hand. However, on this basis it expressed its satisfaction with the responses received. It agreed that these responses should form part of the interim report to the Commission. The responses are presented in Appendix IV of the present report.