US holds public meeting ahead of Codex

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Codex alimentarius, Food

US food regulatory agencies have announced a public meeting to
discuss the nation's draft positions ahead of the Codex food
labeling meeting, which will be held at the end of the month.

The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, the US Department of Agriculture and the US Food and Drug Administration said they will hold the public meeting on Tuesday, April 10. The 35th​ Session of the Codex Committee on Food Labeling (CCFL), taking place in Ottawa, Canada, from April 30 to May 4, forms part of an ongoing program to create international food safety standards under the Codex Alimentarius, a body set up by the Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Health Organization. Established in 1963, Codex is designed to be a global point of reference for food processors, government agencies and consumers. Through adoption of food standards, codes of practice, and other guidelines developed by its committees, and by promoting their adoption and implementation by governments, Codex aims to protect the health of consumers and ensure that fair practices are used in trade. Next week's public meeting is due to be held in the Jamie Whitten Federal Building, 1400 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, DC. It is designed to provide information and receive comments on US positions that will be discussed during the forthcoming CCFL. For further information concerning the 35th Session of the CCFL, contact Dr Michael Wehr, FDA, by phone at (301) 436-1284, by fax at (301) 436-2972 or by e-mail at Michael.Wehr@fda.hhs.gov. The agenda for the 35th​ meeting of the Codex Committee on Food Labeling includes items on two of the most emotive issues for consumers and industry - genetically modified foods and organic foods. In particular, delegates at next month's meeting will discuss a draft amendment to the General Standards for Labeling of Prepackaged Foods​ with respect to definitions for foods obtained through genetic modification or genetic engineering. With respect to organics, items of the agenda are the draft revised annex for the Guidelines for the Production, Processing, Labeling and Marketing of Organically Produced Foods​ (part one and part two of table 3); government comments on table 3; and a proposed draft revision to annex two concerning natural sodium nitrate; and a proposed draft amendment on the addition of ethylene. Delegates will also discuss a proposed draft definition of advertising in relation to nutrition and health claims: "Advertising: any representation to the public, by any means other than a label, that is intended or is likely to influence and shape attitude, beliefs and behaviors in order to promote directly or indirectly the sale of the food." ​Other items on the agenda include a proposed draft amendment to the General Standards for Labeling of Prepackaged Foods: Quantitative Declaration of Ingredients​. A working group on the proposal will also convene as part of the meeting. For an outline of the agenda, click here​.

Related topics: Regulation, Food safety and labeling

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