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CAC to Consider Paper Examining Historical Application of Codex Procedures.

Friday, June 28, 2019

(North American Meat Institute)

The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), along with its Executive Committee, will meet in July to consider a paper that examines how the Codex "Statements of Principle Concerning the Role of Science" and other Codex procedures have been applied historically. The Statements of Principle require Codex to base its standards on science and risk assessment. The paper proposes two options: 1) Revise the procedural manual to reopen the Statements of Principle for negotiations over what other factors besides science and risk assessment should inform Codex standard setting (the option favored by the EU) or 2) Enforce the rules by directing Codex Committees to move forward toward adoption of a standard when the scientific justification and risk assessment are justified even if reservations are raised due to unscientific concerns (the option favored by the U.S.). Sponsors of the letter - which include CropLife International, Health for Animals, National Milk Producers Federation, U.S. Dairy Export Council and the Meat Institute - are actively engaging Codex members in an effort to oppose the first option, claiming that revising the Statements of Principle could be detrimental to international trade in meat, livestock and poultry products.

The Meat Institute collaborated with other like-minded organizations to commission a paper by the law firm Sidley Austin explaining how global trade and food security rely on science-based standards at the July meetings of the Codex Executive Committee and Commission. The memo, which has been widely distributed to government and industry representatives around the globe, is part of a larger industrywide effort to raise awareness and defend the core principles of Codex in the face of EU efforts to change the rules, deprioritize science-based standard setting and make it easier to impose EU style regulations in foreign markets. The document, which will be translated into French and Spanish, is particularly focused toward countries in Latin America and Africa.

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