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85. The Task Force recalled that at its 1st Session it had agreed to establish a list of available analytical methods, including those for the detection or identification of foods or food ingredients derived from biotechnology and had established a Working Group on Analytical Methods under the Chairmanship of Germany to undertake this work.[16] The Working Group on Analytical Methods met on Friday, 23 March 2001. The Working Group found that different countries use different methods and that there were no internationally validated methods available at present.

86. On the basis of the recommendations of the Working Group on Analytical Methods, the Task Force agreed to document the present status of validation of the methods that had been reported by the member countries. It recommended that a register or depository containing relevant information on methods for the detection or identification of foods or food ingredients derived from biotechnology (as well as the availability of reference materials) be established. The Task Force agreed to prepare a Circular Letter requesting Member countries and interested international organizations:

87. The Task Force agreed that there be a collaborative exchange between it and the CCMAS with a view to CCMAS considering appropriate means to validate methods of analysis with respect to biotechnology and ultimately to their endorsement. The Task Force also agreed to inform the CCFL of the progress made in this area.

88. In relation to the proposal to establish a register of validated methods, the Secretariat and the Representative of FAO noted that and international information exchange mechanism for food safety and agricultural health was being considered by FAO together with WHO and other partners. This internet-based system was intended to provide official information on national and international food regulations and related measures to all interested parties. Where appropriate, the information could be part of other nationally or internationally maintained data systems.

89. The Delegation of France drew attention to the Biosafety Clearinghouse mechanism established under the Cartagena Protocol and expressed the view that care should be taken not to duplicate the work of other UN bodies in this area. The Delegation of Italy drew attention to a register of methods being established by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

[15] CX/FBT 01/8; Circular Letter CL 2000/29 - FBT/MAS; CRD 5 (Report of the first meeting of the Working Group Analytical Methods on 23 March 2001 to the Codex Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods Derived from Biotechnology).
[16] ALINORM 01/34, paras 32 and 36.

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