July 2001 – Meeting Report for 24th Session of the Codex Commission

July 2001 – Meeting Report for 24th Session of the Codex Commission

September 19, 2001

INTERNATIONAL BOTTLED WATER ASSOCIATION

INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF BOTTLED WATER ASSOCIATIONS

MEETING REPORT

TWENTY-FOURTH SESSION OF THE CODEX COMMISSION

The Twenty Fourth Session of the Codex Commission was held on July 1- 7, 2001 in Geneva, Switzerland. The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) attended the meeting as a nongovernmental organization (NGO) representing both IBWA and the International Council of Bottled Water Associations (ICBWA). Ms. Cindy Yablonski (IBWA) served as an NGO representative at the meeting. The Codex session was attended by 350 delegates and 75 observers from international governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Overall, the meeting was a success. The Commission approved three standards of importance to the bottled water industry. IBWA and ICBWA have been monitoring developments and providing input concerning the development of these standards over the past five years to seek to ensure that the standards were beneficial to the bottled water industry. The standards are:

    • Standard for Bottled/Packaged Drinking Waters (Other Than Natural Mineral Waters),
    • Amendment to the Codex Standard for Natural Mineral Waters – Health Related Limits for Certain Substances, and
    • Code of Hygienic Practice for Bottled/Packaged Drinking Waters (Other Than Natural Mineral Waters).

The Standard for Bottled/Packaged Drinking Waters (Other Than Natural Mineral Waters) makes reference to the use of products covered by the standard as waters “for drinking purposes” and makes direct reference to “prepackaged/bottled” waters suitable for human consumption. It was noted that the Scope as worded, refers to containers ready for offer to the consumer or for catering purposes. The Scope also takes into account the possible use of packaged/bottled waters by consumers for purposes other than drinking, for example for cooking or for the preparation of infant foods. The final standard does not include any definitions for water type (e.g., spring water, mineral water), as it was supported by ICBWA and all delegates that local regulations would apply.

The Codex Commission adopted an Amendment to the Codex Standard for Natural Mineral Waters – Health Related Limits for Certain Substances. This amendment was made so that the health related limits are consistent with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Guidelines on Drinking Water Quality, Second Edition 1993. This is consistent with ICBWA’s recommendation to Codex to use the most recent WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality as a guide in the standard. The limits for arsenic, barium, manganese and selenium were adopted as follows:

    • Arsenic 0.01 mg/l, calculated as total arsenic
    • Barium, 0.7 mg/l
    • Manganese, 0.5 mg/l
    • Selenium, 0.01 mg/l

IBWA supported the development of the Code of Hygienic Practice because it recommends general techniques for collecting, processing, packaging, storing, transporting, distributing, and offering for sale a variety of drinking waters (other than natural mineral water) for direct consumption. Recommendations concerning natural mineral water are provided in a separate Code (Recommended International Code of Hygienic Practice for the Collecting, Processing and Marketing of Natural Mineral Waters). All bottled/packaged drinking waters other than natural mineral water are covered by this Code.

IBWA and ICBWA should be pleased with the final adoption of these bottled water standards.

Respectfully submitted,

Cindy A. Yablonski

 

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