Food Law News - EU - 2001
Standing Committee on Foodstuffs, 2-3 April 2001
CONTAMINATS - Standing Committee Discussion of Various Issues Relating to Mycotoxins
Patulin in apple juice and apple juice ingredients in other beverages.
Presence of apple juice in other foodstuffs.
Discussion on future Community measures to be taken
At its 32 nd session in March 2000, the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants proposed the limit of 50 µg/kg for patulin in apple juice and apple juice ingredients in other beverages for adoption at Step 8 to the Codex Alimentarius Commission (July 2001).
Although various exposure assessments indicate that the average lifetime exposure of patulin are well below the provisional maximum tolerable daily intake (PMTDI), these recent assessments indicate that the exposure to patulin of children through the consumption of apple juice is in the range of, or even exceeds the PMTDI during a considerable period of the childhood.
The Committee was of the opinion that this aspect needed a closer examination with regard to the potential health risks for children and that it was premature to adopt the level of 50 µg/kg as maximum level for patulin in apple juice. The Committee agreed that in view of the discussion in Codex Alimentarius Commission, a Community position should be prepared outlining this position.
Aflatoxins - Update on the situation with regard the RASFF notifications on findings of the presence of high levels of aflatoxins in peanuts originating from China, peanuts from Egypt, pistachio's from Iran and figs, (pistachio's and hazelnuts) from Turkey.
Discussion on follow-up.
- pistachio's from Iran:
The Committee was informed on the findings of the recent mission of the Food and Veterinary Office carried out in Iran from 11 to 18 February 2001. The Committee was consulted on the current special conditions and agreed to maintain these with an additional requirement with regard to the validity period of the health certificate. A remark was made concerning the possibilities to reduce the aflatoxin content in pistachio's by sorting and physical treatment.
- figs (pistachio's and hazelnuts) from Turkey.
The Committee was informed on the main findings of the mission of the Food and Veterinary Office carried out in Turkey from 4 to 8 September 2000. The Committee was consulted on the appropriateness of the introduction of special conditions concerning the import of figs, pistachio's and dried fruit and spices originating from Turkey, similar to those in place for peanuts from Egypt and pistachios from Iran. The Committee did not raise objections. A remark was made concerning the relation between the size of the hazelnuts and the aflatoxin content.
- peanuts from China
The Committee was informed that a mission of the Food and Veterinary Office is planned to be carried out in China in May 2001 with regard to aflatoxins in peanuts and 3-MCPD in soy sauce. The committee was consulted on eventual restrictive measures similar as those in place for peanuts from Egypt and pistachios from Iran. These measures will have to be considered in the light of the findings of the planned mission. The Committee did not raise objections. A remark was made concerning the differences in aflatoxin content dependent on the region of origin and variety.
- peanuts from Egypt.
The Committee was informed that a follow-up mission of the Food and Veterinary Office is planned to be carried out in Egypt in July 2001 with regard to the measures in place to guarantee that exports of peanuts to Europe do not contain levels of aflatoxins, exceeding the Community maximum limits. Dependent on the outcome of the mission , the Committee agreed that a lifting of the special conditions in place could be considered.
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