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Codex Committee on Fats and Oils Publishes Session Report

March 19, 2013

GOED notes key points related to proposed draft standards for fish oils.

The report of the Twenty-Third Session of the Codex Committee on Fats and Oils (CCFO) is now available on the Codex website (under CCFO23) and included key discussion on the Proposed Draft Standard for Fish Oils.

The Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED), Salt Lake City, UT, attended the meeting in Malaysia as part of the delegation from the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA) and noted the following takeaways from the report:

“In order to remain in the Proposed Draft Standard as a named fish oil, information will need to be provided to the electronic working group (eWG), ‘… including volume of production and consumption in individual countries and volume and pattern of trade between countries, international or regional market potential, and other information together with details of the proposed essential composition and quality factors.’ With respect to information on the fatty acids, the data will need to be ‘robust and take into consideration main contributing factors such as climatic conditions and seasonality, geographical location etc…’

Regarding food additives (Section 4), GOED also noted the Committee will be conveying to the Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) its intention to include rosemary extract as an antioxidant in the Standard.

“While this is good news, much work needs to be done before rosemary extract will be allowed to be used as an antioxidant in fish oils,” GOED noted. “Specifically, it will need to be evaluated by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and included in the General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA). Other antioxidants of interest, including lecithin, citric acid and tocopherols, are currently at step 7 (of 8 steps) of the procedure for inclusion in the GSFA for food category 02.1.3 (Lard, tallow, fish oil, and other animal fats) and ascorbyl palmitate is covered under ascorbyl esters, which was adopted in the GSFA in 2006. Astaxanthin has been referred to the eWG for further discussion.”

The Codex General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Food and Feed did not include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins or furans, however, GOED said it was pleased they were discussed and referred to the eWG for further discussion and justification. GOED will provide data in support of their inclusion.   

The entire Proposed Draft Standard will be subject to scrutiny at the next CCFO meeting because the Proposed Draft Standard) was returned by the Committee to Step 2 for redrafting.