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Preliminary report of the Task Force

90. Following its terms of reference the Task Force considered its preliminary report for submission to the 24th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The report as adopted by the Task Force is attached as Appendix V to this report.

Future Work

91. Referring to the priorities identified at its 1st Session[17], the Task Force agreed, subject to the approval by the 24th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, to initiate a new work on the elaboration of a guideline for conduct of food safety assessment of modified microorganisms in food. It further agreed to establish an open-ended Working Group to advance the preparation of the draft proposed guideline, being aware of the fact that the new work should be proceeded in an expeditious manner in order to be completed before the 25th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 2003 when the Task Force would cease to exist. The Government of the United States offered to host the Working Group, which was accepted by the Task Force with appreciation.

92. The Representatives of FAO and WHO offered to convene a joint FAO/WHO expert consultation to address the safety assessment of genetically modified microorganisms in food to facilitate the work of the Task Force by providing scientific back grounds in this area. Both representatives stressed that the organization, in particular the selection of experts participating in the consultation would be conducted in a transparent manner. The Representatives of FAO and WHO also offered to consider the convening of a Joint Expert Consultation on the food safety evaluation of genetically modified fish to provide the scientific framework for any future work in this area. The Task Force expressed its appreciation for these initiatives.

Agenda of the Third Session

93. The Task Force noted that the following matters would be included on the provisional agenda for its next session:

94. The Task Force noted the views of some Delegations that the issue of traceability should be discussed early in the session.

Date and Place of Next Session

95. The Consultation noted that the Third Session of the Task Force was tentatively scheduled to be held in Japan from 4 to 8 March 2002.

[17] ALINORM 01/34, para. 28).

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