IDFA Continues Leadership on International Standards Work
IDFA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Cary Frye and Senior Director Allen Sayler were in Brussels, Belgium, last month to represent IDFA members and the U.S. dairy industry in the continuing Codex work of the International Dairy Federation (IDF). At the Legislative Week meeting, Sayler and Frye were each re-elected for second two-year terms as committee chairs: Frye as chair of the Standing Committee on Food Labelling, and Sayler as chair of the Standing Committee on Food Additives.
The main focus of the Brussels meeting was preparation for the upcoming sessions of the Codex Committee on Milk and Milk Products (CCMMP) in New Zealand, March 27-April 1. The IDF committees and task forces met to establish world dairy industry positions on 16 draft Codex individual cheese standards, as well as to work on standards for processed cheese, dairy spreads, fermented milk drinks ("smoothies"), dairy products with vegetable fat, and food additives in creams and fermented milks.
Frye and Sayler report that the main issues of interest for the U.S. dairy industry concern a continuing effort to update the individual Codex cheese standards for cheddar, danbo, edam, gouda, havarti, samso, emmental, tilsiter, St. Paulin, provolone, cottage cheese, coulommeirs, camembert, brie, mozzarella and cream cheese.
"Current draft language is acceptable to U.S. cheese processors, though additional work is needed on updating the Codex General Standard for Food Additives," Sayler said. "The issue of food additives — what is allowable and what it not — is a hot area that will require continued vigilance and work by the IDFA team on behalf of U.S. interests."
Other important issues include updating the Codex processed cheese standard, which IDFA members believe is unacceptable because it allows lower cheese and dairy components than the U.S. standard while allowing gelatins and starches; food labelling provisions related to country of origin; and the finalization of a dairy product export certificate that will simplify paperwork for exporting dairy companies.
After the meeting in New Zealand this month, IDFA will provide a follow-up report on CCMMP issues. For more information on the Brussels meeting, click here to review a summary report, or contact Sayler at 202-220-3544 or Frye at 202-220-3543.
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Posted March 6, 2006