05BUCHAREST1467 / 2005-06-30 09:15:00
Embassy Bucharest
                UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BUCHAREST 001467 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EAGR, ECON, TBIO, RO, trade relations 
REF: State 113408 
1. FAS Bucharest passed Reftel demarche to the following 
government officials in the Romanian Veterinary and Food 
Safety National Authority (VFSNA): Dr. Liviu Rusu, General 
Director of the General Food Safety Directorate; Monica 
Neagu, Director, Division for Standards, Marks and Food 
Quality, National Codex Contact Point; Dr. Paul Piscoi, 
Director, Hygiene and Public Health Directorate. 
2. GOR officials submitted comments to a number of USG 
concerns as follows: 
-- Rules-based decision making/geographic indicators (e.g., 
parmesan cheese): VFSNA considers that all issues related to 
commercial brands/geographic indicators and other 
intellectual property should be debated within WHO (World 
Health Organization) and World Intellectual Property 
Organization (WIPO) meetings.  New work to elaborate a codex 
standard for parmesan cheese is justified to the extent to 
which it would eliminate trade barriers and/or for consumer 
safety considerations.  In accordance with the requirements 
laid down by CAC Procedural Manual fourteenth edition, the 
proposal to develop a Codex standard should be accompanied 
by a Project comprising the justification, the purpose and 
the objectives.  In VFSNA's opinion, it is advisable that, 
considering the latest technological and scientific 
developments, the Codex standard for "Extra Hard Granting 
Cheese" adopted in 1978 (Stand C-35-1978) to be considered 
for updating. 
--  New work on animal feeding: Romania is currently 
adopting guides of practice for animal feeding.  In order to 
be able to accurately assess the recently adopted Codex Code 
of Practice on Good Animal Feeding, VFSNA supports the view 
of the United States that undertaking new work at this time 
is not appropriate and member countries should be allowed 
more time to investigate their current situation relative to 
the Code of Practice. 
--  Antimicrobial resistance: Romania believes that the 
appropriateness of the United States proposal on the 
formation of a working group comprised of delegates from 
Codex Committee on Food Hygiene and Codex Committee on 
Residues from Veterinary Drugs should be discussed with the 
World Animal Health Organization (OIE). 
--  FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization)/WHO Project and 
Trust Fund for Enhanced Participation in Codex: VFSNA also 
considers that, rather than simply using economic criteria, 
other considerations should be taken into account to support 
those countries that would most benefit from participation 
in Codex.  The United States' initiative to organize 
workshops prior to the working sessions is beneficial in 
explaining what is expected of delegates, what are the Codex 
mechanisms, as well as in structuring common opinions over 
different items on the agenda. 
--  Cadmium: Romania also supports adoption of the 
maximum levels for cadmium in wheat grain; potato; stem and 
root vegetables; leafy vegetables; and other vegetables, as 
per the proposed Codex standard, as these are also in 
accordance with the domestic legislation.  Romania adopted 
as maximum levels for cadmium of 0.2 mg/kg in polished rice, 
respectively 1 mg/kg for marine bivalve mollusks and in 
cephalopods (without viscera), in the process of adopting 
national standards to the EU requirements.  Romania's 
official position is that maximum levels for cadmium in 
polished rice should be set up should take into 
consideration the specific production and processing 
conditions of each country, as well as the extent to which 
each country plays a part in international trade. 
Discussions on a possible acceptance of maximum levels for 
cadmium set up higher that the current provisions should be 
based on a complex risk assessment conducted by independent 
bodies and in consultation with WHO and UNICEF regarding 
special rice-based food for infants, as well as with world 
consumer protection NGOs. 
--  Aflatoxin in tree nuts: Romania supports the United 
States' stance on brazil nuts.  For setting the maximum 
aflatoxins level in unprocessed almonds, hazelnuts and 
pistachios, the admissible limit for human consumption 
should be taken into consideration, based on science-based 
independent research work. 
--  Possible U.S. candidate for Vice Chair of Codex: 
Romania's representative to CAC meeting welcomes the 
opportunity to consult with the U.S. delegation prior to the 
session.  Items raised by the United States in Reftel 
talking points are of interest to Romania. 
3.  Ms. Monica Neagu, National Codex Contact Point, will 
represent Romania at the upcoming session of the Codex 
Alimentarius Commission. 

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