The Codex Committee on Fats and Oils (CCFO) discussed this month in Malaysia the Proposed Draft Standard for Fish Oils at Step 4 of the Codex procedure.
At the start of the discussion, there was a proposal to limit the application of the standard to fish oils used in food. Although food supplements are regulated as foods in most of the countries in the world, IADSA intervened to request that it is explicitly mentioned in the standard that it applies to food and food supplements to avoid any potential confusion and barriers to trade. The IADSA intervention was supported by a significant number of countries at the meeting and the CCFO finally agreed to include wording to reflect that the standard applies to food and food supplements.
Then when addressing the section on named fish oils and unnamed fish oils, the CCFO agreed that the standard should focus on those that are traded internationally in significant volumes.
Finally, the IADSA concerns on the scientific validity of the fatty acid profiles, as presented in Table 1 of the proposed draft standard as an identifier for named fish oils, were overwhelmingly supported by a large number of countries at the meeting and the CCFO agreed that the values and ranges of the profiles in Table 1 for the named fish oils need to be scientifically validated with robust data as recommended by IADSA.
An electronic working group was established by the CCFO, led by Switzerland, to redraft the proposed draft standard taking into account data on the trade volumes of fish oils, scientific data to set fatty acid profiles as an identification tool of named fish oils and the comments expressed during the meeting on the various sections on the draft standard.
It was also agreed that the working group would meet in person one or two days prior to the next CCFO meeting in 2015 to facilitate the discussion at the plenary.