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Webinar series underway in Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling


More than 100 participants took part on 25 May 2022 in the first of a series of online events for work underway in the Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS). Tom Heilandt Codex Secretary said “it is a wonderful initiative to keep these meetings informal so we can really learn together and get up to date on what’s happening”.

The Codex Standard 234, Recommended Methods of Analysis and Sampling, is undergoing review to ensure the methods used in commodity and other standards are fit-for-purpose. The fats and oils part of the work is led by Yannick Weesepoel from The Netherlands who explained that they are nearing completion. “I expect we will first go through the changes in the endorsement group [that takes place prior to the plenary session of the committee] … and then prepare for the plenary where I hope we can reach consensus,” he said.

“Standard development organizations did a lot of preliminary work to put us in good stead to get the work underway,” said Thea Dawn, Canada, who is reviewing the methods for cereals, pulses and legumes. Strong participation from Codex Members and Observers is key to completing the work with the long-term plan to resolve all outstanding issues with what are known as Type I or “defining methods” of analysis in the standard.

“Standard 234 is the standard that houses the methods that Codex recommends to test foods and make sure that the various commodity provisions are being met,” said Patrick Gray, United States of America, who spoke during the webinar about methods for processed fruits and vegetables. “We were assigned to … identify if those methods have the direct pertinence to the relevant Codex [commodity] standards, figure out if they're fit for purpose and are correctly typed and then correct any issues that were identified,” he said.

The more countries can see activities and results at the working group phase, the smoother the plenary process goes later as delegates are already familiar with the outcomes. It saves the committee time to have as many different perspectives on these methods as possible said Gray.

“The interaction between Members and Observers really is important, said Verna Carolissen, Codex Secretariat, “and we want to encourage such interaction through the continued use of the tools that we have [such as electronic working groups], which is why we are having these webinars to help people understand what has been happening.”

Attila Nagy, Hungary (pictured), who is chairperson of CCMAS said: “it is very important that we ask every participant from every Member Country to work with us and that everyone is involved. That way, with active participation now it becomes easier for them to use the methods in their daily work and that is the whole idea of Codex.”


Learn more

CCMAS web pages

Webinar programme