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USDA to Hold Public Meeting on Codex Standards

USDA to Hold Public Meeting on Codex Committee on Processed Fruits and Vegetables

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Food Safety yesterday announced a public meeting to receive comments on a draft U.S. position for the 25th session of the Codex Committee on Processed Fruits and Vegetables, the group responsible for setting worldwide standards for a variety of processed fruits and vegetables.

The Committee is scheduled to meet in Denpasar, Indonesia October 25-29 to hash out global standards for everything from dried fruits and veggies to canned peas and beans and jams and jellies. According to the USDA, revising standards for quick frozen fruits and vegetables is a top agenda item for the meeting.

The public meeting to provide information and accept comments on the U.S. draft position is scheduled for Monday, August 30, 2010, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., in Room 2068, USDA, South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC. To participate through teleconference, dial (888) 996-4918, and enter the passcode 63757.

A complete agenda and documents relating to the Committee meeting will be available on the Codex Alimentarius Website at www.codexalimentarius.net/current.asp.

Individuals are invited to submit written comments electronically, indicating they apply to the 25th session of the Codex Committee on Processed Fruits and Vegetables, to uscodex@fsis.usda.gov.

For further information about the public meeting, contact Doreen Chen-Moulec at (202) 720-4063 or Doreen.Chen-Moulec@fsis.usda.gov.

© Food Safety News
  • Mark

    Is it just me or does this not scream out for the need of a single food safety regulator? As an importer of quick frozen fruits and vegetables, we’re subject to regs from CBP (customs and trade security compliance), USDA ( APHIS ), EPA and FDA ( FDA is the actual regulator for processed fruits and vegetables, right?). As a responsible food importer we joined C-TPAT the second we heard about it, piloted ISF before it existed and on a personal note I joined Nexus the moment I heard about it(…I know, giving my fingerprints and retina scans to CBP/FBI will be taken by some as giving up my soul but I’m all about compliance). We’re very proud of the upstream food safety capacity building initiatives we manage overseas ( independent irrigation water, soil, pesticide, chem residue analysis etc ) and have tried on numerous occasions to engage with FDA but thus far they plum don’t have a program in place to do anything with our food supply chain safety data. I guess the fact that the USDA is hosting the meeting in prep for the Codex assembly must be due to some technical requirement where the USDA deals with international issues…but the FDA is supposed to be regulator of processed f & v. It sure would be easier to leave all food safety issues up to the USDA….isn’t it time to cut the FDA free and let them go off an regulate their sunglasses, laser pointers and tongue depressors?

  • jerri

    Interesting point Mark and very sensible…but as we both know food safety is not REALLY about rational processes or “sensibility”—but about territory. In the world of food standards setting (I was on the evaluation of Codex Alimentarious in 2002) it is about interests. And the FDA is focussed on health issues and the USDA is focussed on trade issues—-and thus the tension in how CA sets the standards. Now multiply this issue of “interests” to the 100+ countries that sit on the CACommission and seek to establish a global standard for trade and health (which the US would be party to). So the complications multiply…..
    That being said, more people in the US need to know about the US role in setting the Codex standards….and the impact of Codex on the US—and the kind of wok—-and paperwork—you need to comply with….