EU Specialty Food Ingredients News

2021-06EU Specialty Food Ingredients in working groups meetings of the Codex Committee on Food Additives

25th June 2021: This week, several working groups prepared their recommendations for consideration and adoption by the 52nd session of the Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA), which will be held virtually between 1st and 10th September 2021. EU Specialty Food Ingredients did not miss these important events held online, with a delegation consisting of five members as well as the secretariat.

The week started with meetings of the “physical” working group on the General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA), which is chaired by the United States of America. The working group notably recommended the adoption of three key food additives for our members into Table 3 of the GSFA, which allows the use of additives with non-numerical Acceptable Daily Intakes (ADIs). Considering the lack of consensus around certain draft provisions for polyols in coffee, coffee substitutes, tea, herbal infusions, and other hot cereal and grain beverages, excluding cocoa (14.1.5) (food category 14.1.5), these will be circulated further for other rounds of consultations in preparation for the 53rd CCFA scheduled in March 2022.

The alignment working group, chaired by Australia and co-chaired by Japan and the USA, met on 24th June. It made progress on a number of outstanding issues related to the alignment of milk and milk products or fats and oils standards with the GSFA. Also interestingly and to avoid further divergence between the GSFA and aligned Commodity Standards, the working group will invite the Committee to agree to a new guideline. The working group also agreed to conduct further work on the matter, which shall include a possible reconsideration of the relevant parts of the Codex Procedural Manual.

On Friday 25th June, the endorsement working group, chaired by Australia, made progress on a number of Standards or Guidelines forwarded by the Coordinating Committee for Africa (CCAFRICA), the Coordinating Committee for North America and the South West Pacific (CCNASWP), the  Coordinating Committee for the Near East (CCNE), the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU), the Codex Committee on Processed Fruit and Vegetables (CCPFV) and the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH). Standards submitted by the CCPFV, which was adjourned sine die, shall be transferred to the alignment electronic working group to finalise the partial alignment of these texts with the GSFA.

Now that the Committee endorsed alternative notes to the now famous footnote 161 attached to a number of draft or adopted provisions in the GSFA, the working group on note 161, co-chaired by the European Union and the USA, addressed certain adopted sweeteners provisions on 25th June. These provisions were either revised, with the note 161 replaced, or revoked if no uses were reported in the given food categories. The future work of the electronic working group on note 161 should be subject to an interesting debate in plenary in September, as a delegation had submitted the idea to re-open the discussions on adopted provisions without this controversial note.

All working groups recommendations will be subject to discussion and possible endorsement by the CCFA. EU Specialty Food Ingredients will of course participate in the plenary discussions in September and would like to thank its delegation for its great work.

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