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EU/Commission represents EU interests in Codex:a platform for setting international standards on food safety and food quality
The 35th session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission will take place from 2-7 July 2012 in Rome. This annual meeting will bring together 185 Member countries to adopt internationally accepted standards on food safety and food quality.
A key item on the agenda this year is the draft five years Strategic Plan which will outline Codex's goals and objectives. There will also be several standards to adopt, many of which the EU will be in a position to support, in the areas of food hygiene and nutrition.
However, fundamental questions remain on:
-- the maximum residue limits (MRLs) for ractopamine, a veterinary drug used for growth promotion and
-- recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), a veterinary drug used for enhancing milk production in dairy cattle.
The EU maintains its opposition to adopting international standards for these substances since there are outstanding safety concerns over the use of ractopamine as a growth promoter and animal health and welfare concerns over the use of rBST for enhancing milk production in dairy cattle. EU policy is not to administer veterinary drugs to healthy animals. International standards, in both cases, have been kept on hold for several years since no consensus could be reached. The EU believes that other more important issues require the full attention of Codex.
Codex is a decision-making body which has a successful track record of fifty years for taking decisions on the basis of consensus. A consensus approach is critical to the effective functioning of Codex since agreed standards should be applied all over the world in order to facilitate global trade.
Ensuring the safety of the food chain is of paramount importance and is a key driver to the EU's position on issues discussed in Codex. As the world's largest trading block, the EU is also committed to facilitating the flow of trade - but not at any price. Safety first is the key building block in any food system. It is only thus that we can guarantee the health and well-being of our citizens.
The EU continues to fully support the work of Codex to harmonise food standards across the globe as a means of facilitating trade and protecting the health of consumers. We attach great importance to doing this in an inclusive way and as such, the EU and its Member States, serve as main contributors to the Codex Trust Fund, encouraging developing countries to attend and actively participate in the work of Codex.
Link: Codex approves ractopamine standards
Other EVANA-articles about this topic:
USA: Ractopamine in Pork (en)
European ministers uphold EU ractopamine ban ()
USMEF director warns Europe over food policies (en)
Codex alimentarius : statement by the EU on ractopamine (en)