REPORT OF THE SIXTY-NINTH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE CODEX ALIMENTARIUS COMMISSION WHO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland, 8 -11 July 2014  and  14-18 July 201

Full report here: ftp://ftp.fao.org/codex/reports/Reports_2014/Rep14_EXe.pdf

Thanks to the IBFAN Codex team for spotting the many useful statements from WHO  and other items in this document:

Draft standards for adoption..

20. The Executive Committee noted the view of the Representative of WHO that the mandate of the Executive Committee conducting the Critical Review was not to “recommend” or not the adoption of a draft text by the Commission – the decision on whether or not to adopt a text being the prerogative of the Commission; rather, the task of the Executive Committee was to verify whether all the criteria enumerated in the relevant section of the Procedural Manual had been met and thus the text in question was ready for consideration by the Commission at Step 8.

MONITORING OF STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT (Agenda Item 2b)4

Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU)

Proposal to Review the Standard for Follow-up Formula

22. The Executive Committee noted that while this work was scheduled for completion by 2017, follow-up formula and a Codex standard for these products required discussion before the work could proceed.

23. The Representative of WHO reminded the Executive Committee that WHO continued to consider that there was no need for a Codex standard on follow-up formula, the reason being that if the commodity was considered as breast milk replacement then it should comply with the Standard for Infant Formula andFormulas for Special Medical Purposes Intended for Infants (CODEX STAN 72-1981). For other uses, the relevant Standard for Milk Powders and Cream Powder (CODEX STAN 207-1999) would apply. WHO and UNICEF had published an official statement on this matter. The Representative further stated that whether Codex should develop or maintain a standard for a commodity the existence of which is questioned by a parent organization of Codex was a fundamental question of principle that would warrant discussion and a decision by the Commission.

24. Some members noted that this product was traded and it was necessary to review the existing standard to avoid confusion in trade and ensure the safety of this product.

Conclusion

25. The Executive Committee acknowledged the intervention of WHO and noted that the work was proceeding within its schedule with a target for completion by 2017. The Executive Committee noted further that the CCNFSDU had undertaken the development of a discussion paper to consider the scope of the revision and the need for a standard. The Executive Committee recommended that the CCNFSDU consider WHO’s concerns in its further deliberations on this issue.

 

Proposed Draft Amendment to the Standard for Processed Cereal-Based Foods for Infants and Young

Children to include a new Part B for Underweight Older Infants and Young Children

26. The Executive Committee noted that this was behind schedule and that CCNFSDU was reconsidering the scope.

Conclusion

27. The Executive Committee encouraged CCNFSDU to confirm the scope of the work including the need for the standard, taking into account the guidance provided by WHO.

FINANCIAL AND BUDGETARY MATTERS (Agenda Item 4)

Codex Budget8

44. The Executive Committee noted with appreciation the increase in the contribution of WHO to the

Codex budget since the last biennium ….

45. The Executive Committee noted the significant underspend during the 2012-2013 biennium and that this was mainly due to extended vacancies. These vacancies had led to savings in travel which added to those savings caused by organization-wide travel restrictions. The Executive Committee noted that unspent Codex funds could not be carried over to a new biennium because in accordance with the FAO rules9 unspent funds from the biennial allocation are cancelled from the appropriation.

Conclusion

49. The Executive Committee:

ii. Took note of under-spending (2012-2013) compared to the initial budget and the reasons given for

this and highlighted the need for a better budgeting and work-planning process to anticipate the future need and use the allocated budget more efficiently as well as fully staffing the Codex Secretariat.

 

Sustainable funding for scientific advice…

54. The Executive Committee considered the three options for securing funding for scientific advice put forward in the paper and expressed support for further exploration of options 1 and 3 while noting that option 2 was not viable in the short term because of the current FAO and WHO policies related to funding from “non-State” actorsand the apparent lack of interest amongst major non-State donors of FAO and WHO.

Conclusion

58. iv. Called upon Codex members:

– to consider providing in-kind contributions to scientific advice; ( my remark: seconding experts COI?)

APPLICATIONS FROM INTERNATIONAL NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

FOR OBSERVER STATUS IN CODEX (Agenda Item 5)

To approve the following applications:

– AHPA (American Herbal Products Association)

– OENOPPIA (Oenological Products and Practices International Association)

– GOED (Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s)

– NSF (NSF International)

Not to approve the application from:International Centre of Comparative Environmental Law)

To defer approval of the application from: ISC (International Stevia Council)

iv. Noted that many approved observers were not active for different reasons and that the Secretariat could evaluate participation through data provided by the on-line registration system. Based on this evaluation, inactive Observers could be contacted to verify whether they were still interested in participating in Codex.

(c) Update on the Communication Strategy for Codex

77. The Executive Committee recalled that at previous sessions the development of a communication strategy for Codex had been discussed. The first step was a survey on how stakeholders perceive Codex.

78. The Executive Committee noted that the tendering process to select the company to carry out a survey had taken longer than expected and at this time there was only a partial preliminary report based on an online survey component.(I participated but impossible to print answers. But noted my concerns)

 

Message sent on behalf of the Codex Trust Fund Secretariat

The Codex Trust Fund is pleased to announce the launch of the “Codex Trust Fund interview project”.The aim of this project is to document how participation in Codex has changed both food safety and Codex activities in countries as well as Codex itself. Over the next few months short video clip interviews will be posted on the Codex Trust Fund webpage.

This month’s clips feature interviews with delegates from Costa Rica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines who are addressing the question – Why is participating in Codex important for your country?

Please go to http://who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-standard/codextrustfund/en/index4.html

to see the video clips. New theme questions and clips will be posted monthly.

 

 

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