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Codex Alimentarius Agreement

Volume 264: debated on Tuesday 24 October 1995

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans his Department has to establish maximum residue limits for hormones in meats following the recent codex alimentarius agreement. [36423]

Decisions by the Codex Alimentarius Commission to adopt maximum residue limits are not binding on codex member countries. They are taken into account when the Community establishes MRLs under regulation (EEC) 2377/90 which are then applicable in all member states. Before MRLs can be considered, applications must be submitted by pharmaceutical companies.The use of hormonal growth promoters in food producing animals has been banned throughout the Community since 1988. It also applies to meat and meat products imported from third countries. As a result of the ban, Community MRLs have not been set for growth-promoting hormones and residues surveillance is based on analysis to the minimum level of quantification. It is for the European Commission to consider whether or not the Codex decisions will have any effect on the current prohibition.