Risk analysis is on the table at an upcoming European codex session next week in Bratislava with EU 25 offering its support to a proposal for new principles on the issue while calling for flexibility.
But the committee that studied the proposed draft on the 'working principles for risk analysis for food safety' has asked for further government comments, not expected until the beginning of November.
"Flexibility is needed, says the group, to allow Members to adapt their risk analysis policy in the light of local conditions and other needs, " writes CCEURO, the Codex Regional Co-ordinating Committee for Europe.
However the backing was clear: = "The Member States of the European Community welcomed the adoption by the CAC of Working Principles for Risk Analysis for Application in the framework of the Codex Alimentarius, and appreciated in particular that these principles clearly recognized precaution as an inherent element of risk analysis,"
According to a document released this week from the group, the EU25 fully support the development of risk analysis 'principles', "which will contribute to helping the governments to develop a risk analysis policy to protect consumer health."
But on the other hand, more specific principles should be established for governments when no Codex standard or Codex text covering the field exists, in particular, concerning the implementation of the measures and the decisions taken in emergency or when scientific knowledge is incomplete, writes the group.
Driven by health concerns for consumers, the world's watchdog for food rules, Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), began life in 1963, created by the United Nation bodies FAO and WHO to develop food standards, guidelines and related texts such as codes of practice under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
CCEURO meets next week in Bratislava for its 24th session.