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CCCF17 concludes: “We are doing the right things in the best possible ways”


The Codex Committee on Contaminants in Food (CCCF) has concluded its 17th session in Panama City, Panama, with the Committee Chairperson, Dr Sally Hoffer, saying she was “happy with our progress”.  She went on to say: “I would like also to highlight that we are continuously trying to better our work, so in the last three days, we have also discussed how we are doing the right things in the best possible ways and we are clearly updating our work every hour and every day at CCCF.”

She went on to thank the co-hosts, Panama, naming each person involved. She then thanked the chairpersons of the electronic working groups “because they have done marvellous work of bringing the content to us.” The technicians, interpreters, Codex and JECFA secretariat representatives and the Dutch Secretariat members were all thanked.

The Committee had discussed a raft of issues, which resulted in new CCCF texts being forwarded to the 47th Codex Alimentarius Commission and in agreements on the development of new work.

New maximum levels (MLs) were agreed for lead in a variety of spices, including dried aril, dried seeds, dried rhizomes and roots including galangal, dried bark, dried floral parts, dried fruit and berries, paprika and sumac. Some dried culinary herbs were also included in these new MLs. New MLs were also agreed for cadmium and lead in quinoa, which will be of significance in particular to producers of this popular and globally traded pseudo-cereal. MLs are entered into the General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Food and Feed (CXS 193-1995), or GSCTFF.

Another new and important text to be forwarded to CAC47 by CCCF17 is the draft code of practice/guidelines for the prevention and reduction of ciguatera poisoning. Codex Members had requested the development of this work as ciguatoxins, which are ingested when people consume contaminated fish, are an increasing problem as they are emerging in previously unaffected areas due to changing weather patterns.

New work will include reviews of the Code of Practice for the Prevention and Reduction of Aflatoxin Contamination in Peanuts (CXC 55-2004) and the Code of Practice for the Reduction of Aflatoxin B1 in Raw Materials and Supplemental Feedingstuffs for Milk-Producing Animals (CXC 45-1997). The Committee also agreed on the development of a code of practice for the prevention and reduction of cadmium contamination in foods, and on new work to update of the Code of Practice for Weed Control to Prevent and Reduce Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid Contamination in Food and Feed (CXC 74-2014). A code of practice will also be developed on how to prevent and reduce the presence of the plant toxins, tropane alkaloids, in food.

Further, CCCF17 agreed on work to revise the Code of Practice for the Reduction of Acrylamide in Foods (CXC 67-2009) as well as on a definition for ready-to-eat peanuts for the establishment of a relevant ML for total aflatoxins.

Read more

CCCF17 webpage


Photo © Ministerio de Comercio e Industrias, Panama