Nov. 20, 2007
The Centre for Food Safety in Hong Kong has initiated a two and a half month public consultation to seek views on a proposed regulatory framework for pesticide residues in food. The process of drawing up proposals for the framework was initiated in April, with plans to present the proposals to the Hong Kong legislative council, the LegCo, in six months time. In the LegCo paper, the Centre has proposed adopting the UN FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission standards, while defining pesticides and other related terms.
The Centre has further proposed adopting a -positive list" approach, in which the approved pesticides and their standards would be clearly defined. Other active ingredients that have not been specified would have residue limits below a defined default value. The scheme would also involve the development of a list of "exempted substances" that are natural and the residues of which are identical to or indistinguishable from natural food components. Most western nations have adopted a -positive list" as against a -negative list" approach.
The centre has proposed a two-year grace period for implementing the legislation. The consultation process commenced on November 13th and will last until January 31st 2008.