JOINT FAO/WHO FOOD STANDARDS PROGRAMME
CODEX COMMITTEE ON CONTAMINANTS IN FOODS
Moscow, Russian Federation, 8 – 12 April 2013
PROPOSED DRAFT REVISION OF GUIDELINE LEVELS FOR RADIONUCLIDES IN FOODS
Terms of Reference
1. The 6th session of the Committee on Contaminants in Foods (CCCF), held in Maastricht (the Netherlands) from 26 – 30 March 2012, agreed to establish an electronic Working Group (eWG) led by the Netherlands and co-chaired by Japan, working in English only and open to all members and observers, to develop a Codex document on the Review of the Codex Guideline Levels for Radionuclides in Food. The eWG should review the current Guideline Levels (GLs) for radionuclides in food; and develop in connection with the review, a clear guidance on the interpretation and application of the levels.1 The Committee noted the importance of involving the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other relevant organizations in this work.
The 35th session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) held in Rome (Italy) from 2 – 7 July 2012 approved this proposal as new work for the Committee.
The eWG shall present an overview of the current GLs for radionuclides in food, and describe recent situations regarding trade of food with radionuclides. The eWG shall conclude whether the current GLs need to be changed, and provide the arguments why revision is needed. In this regard the eWG should consider the feasibility to convert the GLs to MLs as indicated in footnote 2 of the
General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Food and Feed of the Codex Alimentarius (GSCTFF). If revision is considered needed, the eWG should propose levels for comments at Step 3 and consideration by the 7th CCCF in 2013.
If the eWG comes to a conclusion on the need of the revision of the GLs, the eWG should answer the question whether an issue of interpretation and implementation is linked to the current values, to determine whether development of a guidance document is necessary. If such a document is necessary, the eWG should advise the CCCF if it should be a single stand-alone document or be
included in the GSCTFF.
To comply with the request of the 6th CCCF the chairs of the Netherlands and Japan have contacted the IAEA in this regard. The IAEA assured its cooperation regarding the scientific background of the paper.