Codex adopts country-of-origin cheese provision

by Jeff Gelski
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WASHINGTON — The International Dairy Foods Association praised the Codex Alimentarius Commission for adopting all sections of 16 draft cheese standards, including a country-of-origin provision, at its annual meeting in July in Rome.

"We’re thrilled that the new cheese standards have finally been adopted after 13 years," said Clay Hough, senior vice-president for the I.D.F.A., Washington. "Getting these standards adopted was very important for our members. These new standards provide needed flexibility to our members and will facilitate additional world trade in cheese."

The country-of-origin provision states, "The country of origin (which means the country of manufacture, not the country in which the name originated) shall be declared. When the product undergoes substantial transformation in a second country, the country in which the transformation is performed shall be considered the country of origin for the purpose of labeling."

The provision applies to cheese standards for brie, camembert, cheddar, cottage cheese, coulommiers, cream cheese, danbo, edam, emmental, gouda, havarti, mozzarella, provolone, samso, St. Paulin and tilsiter.

In total, Codex adopted 44 new and amended food standards, according to a joint statement from the Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Codex food safety standards are developed using scientific advice from an F.A.O./WHO committee.

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