Summary reports of WTO meetings on Codex Alimentarius and biotech food

March 15, 2002

Geneva, 14 March 2002

Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures: Codex Alimentarius Commission. Summary Reports of Recent Meetings - Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (10th Session, Brisbane, Australia, 25 February-1 March 2002). Document G/SPS/GEN/308 13 March 2002 (02-1312). Full text [WTO links may need to be tried twice before a document is displayed]

The Committee:

(a) Forwarded the draft Guidelines for Food Import Control Systems to the 25th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (June/July 2003) for final adoption;

(b) Agreed that a drafting group would revise the draft Guidelines for the Judgement of Equivalence of Sanitary Measures Associated with Food Inspection and Certification Systems for circulation, comment and further consideration at its next meeting;

(c) Agreed that a drafting group would prepare a discussion paper on the need for the further elaboration of the Guidelines on the Judgement of Equivalence of Technical Regulations Associated with Food Inspection and Certification Systems for circulation, comment and further consideration at its next meeting;

(d) Returned the proposed draft Guidelines for the Utilization and Promotion of Quality Assurance Systems to Meet Requirements in Relation to Food for reformulation by a drafting group and further consideration at its next meeting;

(e) Returned the proposed draft Guidelines for the Exchange of Information in Food Control Emergency Situations for revision by a drafting group and for circulation, comment and further consideration at its next meeting, and;

(f) Agreed that a working group would prepare a discussion paper on "traceability" for circulation, comment and further consideration at its next meeting.

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Ad Hoc Codex Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods derived from Biotechnology (Third Session, Yokohama, 4-8 March 2002)

The Task Force:

(a) Agreed on amendments to the Draft Principles for the Risk Analysis of Foods Derived from Modern Biotechnology, including provisions for product tracing for the purposes of facilitating withdrawal of foods from the market when a risk to human health has been identified or to support post-market monitoring, and submitted the draft to the 25th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (June/July 2003) for final adoption;

(b) Agreed to forward the Draft Guideline for the Conduct of Food Safety Assessment of Foods Derived from Recombinant-DNA Plants (including an Annex on the Assessment of Possible Allergenicity) to the 25th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission for final adoption;

(c) Made a number of amendments to the Proposed Draft Guideline for the Conduct of Food Safety Assessment of Recombinant-DNA Microorganisms in Food and agreed to submit the text to the Executive Committee of the Codex Alimentarius Commission for adoption at the intermediate step of the Codex Elaboration Procedure (Step 5);

(d) On the matter of traceability, recognized that in addition to the applications specifically referred to in the Principles for Risk Analysis, that there were other applications of product tracing. It agreed that such applications should be consistent with the provisions of the WTO SPS and TBT Agreements, and noted that work in these areas would be undertaken by other Codex committees;

(e) Identified a number of methods for the identification or detection of genetic modification in foods and agreed to transmit these methods for the consideration of the Codex Committee for Methods of Analysis and Sampling.

World Trade Organisation

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