IDFA Staff Members Lead Committee Work at World Congress in Shanghai
IDFA Vice President Cary Frye and Senior Director Allen Sayler recently attended the 27th World Dairy Congress and the World Dairy Summit of the International Dairy Federation (IDF) in Shanghai, China, representing IDFA and the U.S. dairy industry. Frye and Sayler both hold leadership positions within IDF; Frye is the chairman of the IDF Standing Committee on Food Labeling and Terminology, and Sayler is chairman of the IDF Standing Committee on Food Additives.
Each committee focused on topics of interest to IDFA members. Frye's committee made plans to draft an educational document at the request of the Codex Committee on Food Labeling (CCFL) regarding country-of-origin labeling for cheese.
"The food labeling and terminology committee started work to help shape the debate on country-of-origin labeling and move the cheese standards forward. Getting this issue resolved is important for a number of reasons, namely to protect the generic nature of cheese within various types of cheese, to encourage trade and to provide accurate information to consumers," said Frye.
At its annual meeting earlier this year, the Codex Alimentarius Commission retained nearly all sections of 16 draft cheese standards at Step 8, the final step before adoption. The country-of-origin labeling provision, however, designed to inform consumers where the cheese is manufactured, was referred back to the CCFL for consideration at its meeting next April.
The country-of-origin provision would apply to cheese standards for brie, camembert, cheddar, cottage cheese, coulommiers, cream cheese, danbo, edam, emmental, gouda, havarti, mozzarella, provolone, samso, St. Paulin and tilsiter.
Sayler's committee continued its efforts to consolidate all standards for food additives into one document while maintaining a flexible structure that would allow new additives to be included in the future.
"We're trying to blend these changes into the General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA), which is a master list of all additives that are safe to use," explained Sayler. "And keeping it flexible is extremely important for our members, because it's often very difficult to change these standards once they're established."
Codex decisions on cheese standards and food additives can have a significant impact on IDFA members that export dairy products, since many Codex standards are enforced by importing countries and can be used to resolve World Trade Organization disputes.
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Posted December 11, 2006