STC Number - 282

Measures on food products containing meat, poultry or processed egg products

Maintained by: United States of America
Raised by: China
Supported by: Japan; Korea, Republic of
First date raised: June 2009 G/SPS/R/55, paras. 32-35
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: Raised orally
Products covered: 04 Dairy produce; birds' eggs; natural honey; edible products of animal origin, not elsewhere specified or included; 16 Preparations of meat, of fish or of crustaceans, molluscs or other aquatic invertebrates
Primary subject keyword: Food safety
Keywords: Food safety; Human health; Equivalence; Risk assessment
Status: Not reported
Solution:
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In June 2009, the representative of China observed that US notification G/SPS/N/USA/1913 allowed only those countries whose administrative scheme for food safety and inspection services regarding food products containing small amounts of meat, poultry or processed egg products was identified as equivalent to that of the United States to export food products containing these ingredients. This recent measure was based on the Federal Inspection Law enacted of 1972. China requested the United States to provide the relevant risk assessment supporting these new measures, or to withdraw the measures if there was no scientific justification. China was of the view that the measure was not in accordance with Articles 2.2 and 5.6 of the SPS Agreement. The representative of Korea shared the concern of China, as Korea had previously exported products to the United States containing small amounts of meat and poultry without any problem. Korea requested that the United States comply with international standards in this regard, as well as with Paragraph 2 of Annex B of the SPS Agreement, according to which Members should allow a reasonable period of time between the adoption of SPS regulations and their entry into force, in order to allow producers and exporters to adapt to the new requirements. Most products affected by this measure, such as gravy, had a very low level of poultry and meat content, and many had undergone heat treatment processes. The representative of Japan shared the concerns of China and Korea and asked the United States to apply the measure with as much flexibility as possible so as to minimize its trade restrictive effects. The representative of the United States explained that the bases of these restrictions were the Federal Meat Inspection Act, Poultry Products Inspection Act, and the Egg Product Inspection Act. Recent inspections by the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) found that some products entering the United States contained ingredients that did not originate from an approved source. Any product found to be in violation of the requirement, as identified through routine FSIS inspections, was rejected. In order to comply with the requirement, importers seeking a permit after 22 June 2009 would need to provide an attestation along with the permit application that the meat or poultry ingredient was from an approved source. The USDA would announce requirements for egg products in the near future, as there were also public health concerns in this regard. Members would be informed of all relevant measures and modifications, and were encouraged to work with the FSIS.