Ray Gamble, director of the Fellowships Office of the National Academies’ National Research Council, and Paul Sundberg, National Pork Board vice president of science and technology, last week participated in a working group of the Codex Alimentarius Commission that is developing guidelines on parasites in meat.
Gamble, who previously was laboratory director of the Parasite Biology and Epidemiology Laboratory for USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, is one of the world’s foremost authorities on zoonotic parasites.
At its most recent meeting, the Codex commission approved new work to develop “Guidelines for control of specific zoonotic parasites in meat: Trichinella spiralis and Cysticercus bovis.”
The National Pork Producers Council worked closely with the commission, U.S. delegates and other industry stakeholders in the United States and in other countries to keep any new work from duplicating, contradicting or narrowing the current efforts of the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE).
The European Union developed its own draft guidelines on controlling zoonotic parasites in meat and wants Codex to adopt them as international standards, which only a few countries in the EU could meet. Although the Codex guidance is very early in the development process,
Gamble and Sundberg, who were part of the U.S. delegation attending the commission meeting in Grange, Ireland, helped the working group focus on developing a science-based standard for food that is outcome based and applicable globally, not just to a few select countries.
NPPC will continue to urge Codex to develop science-based standards for the safe trade of food.