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38th Session, summary

Outcome of the 38th Session of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses

The 38th Session of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) was held in Hamburg from 5 to 9 December 2016 and chaired by Dr Pia Noble (German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture).

300 delegates and observers from 56 member states, one member organisation (European Union) and 38 international organisations attended the meeting.

The session was opened with welcoming remarks by Dr Klaus Heider (Director-General for Food Policy, Product Safety and Innovation, Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Germany) and Tom Heilandt (Secretary of the Codex Alimentarius Commission). Both paid tribute in particular to the 50th anniversary of CCNFSDU. The first session of the committee with only 30 attendees took place in 1966 in Freiburg im Breisgau. Germany has chaired the sessions from the very beginning. Further information on the history of CCNFSDU can be found in this brochure.

The former committee chairs Dr Drews (chair from 1978 – 1985), Prof Dr Somogyi (chair from 1992 – 1996) and Dr Großklaus (chair from 1998 – 2009) were invited as honorary guests to the opening and to a reception hosted by the federal government to celebrate the anniversary and the long-standing work of the committee. 

Apart from this year's celebrations, the committee's highly successful deliberations deserve to be highlighted as well. The session, in essence, resulted in the following:

The revision of the standard for follow-up formula from 1987 was again at the heart of the discussions. In the run-up to the CCNFSDU session, a physical working group met on 3 December 2016 to discuss this agenda item. During the plenary session deliberations, an agreement was reached on many points, based on the results obtained by the working group meeting. The work is expected to be completed in 2018. Until the next session, the discussion is intended to be continued in an electronic working group under the chairmanship of New Zealand, France and Indonesia.

The debate on nutrient reference values (NRVs) for the vitamins E and D was successfully concluded. The reference values are now to be submitted to the Codex Alimentarius Commission for adoption at step 8 or 5/8.

With respect to the discussion of a proposal for a reference value for long-chain omega-3 fatty acids with respect to diet-related diseases (NRV-NCD), it was agreed to await the results of NUGAG and to take them into account when further deliberating on the issue. The electronic working group chaired by Russia and Chile was tasked with advancing the work on this subject.

Further topics under discussion at the 38th CCNFSDU session were, among others, the drafting of a definition for "biofortification", the proposal for a guideline for "Ready-to-use Therapeutic Foods" (RUTF) and a working paper for a "Claim for “free” of Trans Fatty Acids". Deliberations will be continued in the run-up by electronic working groups and at the next CCNFSDU meeting.

The 39th Session of the CCNFSDU will be held in Berlin from 4 to 8 December 2017.

Further information on the 50th anniversary of CCNFSDU can be found at this brochure.
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