Mar 22, 2023
FAO reviews 1,4-DMN for CODEX MRL approval

A naturally-occurring bio-control, 1,4-dimethylnaphthalene (1,4-DMN), that enhances dormancy, controls spouting and encourages field-fresh quality in stored potatoes, is scheduled for review and regulatory approval under the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture (FAO)’s Codex Alimentarius.

The review process will take place during 2023, with a Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) expected to be adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) as soon as mid-2024.

1,4-DMN is a true dormancy enhancer rather than a sprout suppressant. It mimics naturally occurring potato hormones, triggering the production of potato tubers’ own dormancy enhancing enzymes. 1,4-DMN is highly effective at managing sprouting and peeping from storage bin close-up right through shipping. Unlike the conventional standard CIPC, 1,4-DMN has significantly less environmental risk and no worker safety concerns. 1,4-DMN also enables tubers to retain more moisture, decreasing shrink and bruising.

Codex Alimentarius is a set of international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice designed to ensure the safety, quality and fairness of the international food trade. Among other roles, Codex defines acceptable residue limits for additives and other chemicals in food. Under the World Trade Organization’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement, Codex standards are accepted as standards for international trade of agricultural commodities, food and feedstuff.

A Codex MRL is critical for export because products that contain residues not specifically approved by Codex are at risk of refusal in some countries.

The FAO/World Health Organization’s Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues, which evaluates and proposes Codex MRLs, meets just once per year and debates only six new active ingredients per meeting. 1,4-DMN was added to Codex’s priority list in 2021 and was scheduled for evaluation in 2022.

However, COVID-19 delayed the planned evaluation date. 1,4-DMN is now scheduled for evaluation in 2023 and debate at the meeting of September 2023.

“We are very pleased that 1,4-DMN should be assigned a Codex MRL by 2024. Many companies will breathe easier knowing that it will soon be much simpler to ship potatoes treated with 1,4-DMN,” said Jeanette VonKrosigk, global regulatory affairs director for 1,4GROUP. “Whether North America follows Europe and Japan in banning CIPC in the short term or the longer term remains to be seen. However, there’s no question that bio-controls like 1,4-DMN are the future of global agriculture. Bio-controls are critical for agriculture to achieve meaningful steps towards sustainability.”

1,4-DMN, sold by 1,4GROUP as 1,4SIGHT, is currently sold in 31 countries and has treated over 33 billion hundredweight of processed and fresh potatoes over the past 18 years.

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