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IDF Suspends Work on Codex Processed Cheese Standard

Nov 02, 2016

The International Dairy Federation’s (IDF) annual World Dairy Summit, held last month in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, began with several business and committee meetings, including the IDF Standing Committee on Standards of Identity and Labeling (SCSIL), which suspended discussions on the Draft Codex Standard for Processed Cheese.

The committee suspended discussions on reaching a compromise on the standard on the grounds that consensus could not be reached. SCSIL members previously agreed they would try to develop consensus on an alternative proposal for the standard that would be more beneficial for use in international trade than they consider the current Codex draft to be.

At the meeting, John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards and deputy chair of the committee, presented the U.S. dairy industry’s position, which opposes the work because it would broaden the definition of “processed cheese” to include products with far less real cheese content than U.S.-made products, which could potentially mislead consumers.

“IDF has a critical role as the foremost global expert body on technical issues for the dairy sector, but when there is no internal consensus on technical aspects for a standard, which mirrors the 20 years of non-consensus within Codex itself, we support the decision to suspend further discussions,” said Allan.

Codex Dairy Permeate Powders Standard

Committee members also concluded the IDF meeting with no consensus on the Draft Codex Standard for Dairy Permeate Powders, which includes descriptions and specifications for dairy, milk and whey permeate powders. Members were unable to reach a compromise on the proposed allowance of anti-caking agents used in permeate powders.

Also representing IDFA at the summit were Clay Hough, senior group vice president; Cary Frye, vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs; and Bob Yonkers; IDFA vice president and chief economist.

Hough serves on the IDF board of directors as the dairy processing sector representative. Frye is chair of the U.S.-IDF board and was named at the summit the leader of a new IDF action team on criteria for natural label standards. Allan was re-elected as deputy chair of the Standing Committee on Standards of Identity and Labeling, and Yonkers serves on the IDF Marketing Committee and the Dairy Policies and Economics Committee.

For more details, contact Allan at

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