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9. Recommendations

The Consultation made the following recommendations.

1. The CAC should adopt the definitions and principles contained in this report.

2. The potential for adverse effects on human health should be the overriding determinant in risk management decisions, and the CAC should continue to strive to encompass the diverse range of cultures in different countries in a consistent and equitable way in its elaboration of food standards and related texts.

3. The CAC should clarify for the guidance of Codex Committees how to apply the principle: "When elaborating and deciding upon food standards Codex Alimentarius will have regard where appropriate, to other legitimate factors relevant for the health protection of consumers and for the promotion of fair practices in food trade" (12, Appendix 3). In particular, this clarification should include explicit description of the factors which may be considered, the extent to which these factors should be taken into account, and the procedures to be used in this regard.

4. The CAC should make explicit the role of CCFAC, CCRVDF and CCPR in providing clear and unequivocal risk assessment policy guidance to JECFA and JMPR. This should include acknowledgement of the continuing need for risk assessment choices by JECFA and JMPR, but provide guidelines for value judgements and policy choices which may need to be applied in the risk assessment process.

5. The CAC should request Codex Committees to review the standards and advisory texts in their respective areas of responsibility in the light of the principles contained in this report.

6. The CAC should give a high priority to the development and adoption of recommendations for the risk management of microbial hazards in food since foods such as certain raw materials and fresh produce may occasionally contain pathogenic micro-organisms and this could lead to trade restrictions and public health concern if not properly managed.

7. FAO/WHO should establish a joint expert committee to provide microbial risk assessment information to support Codex risk management decisions and recommendations given the significant contribution of microbial pathogens to foodborne disease world wide. Such a committee could be modelled on JECFA and/or JMPR.

8. There should be greater collaboration between all parties involved in risk evaluation and risk assessment, especially including those in a position to provide clinical and epidemiological data, to establish the linkage between the level of hazard and the level of risk since such information is often essential for the development of appropriate risk management options.

9. FAO and WHO should assist developing countries in their application of risk management in the food safety area.

10. There should be maximum accessibility of published government documents on the subject via the Internet since risk analysis in foods is a newly emerging discipline.

11. FAO and WHO should complete the series of consultations on the application of risk analysis to food safety with a jointly sponsored consultation on risk communication in relation to food safety.

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