[Federal Register: March 2, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 42)]
[Notices]               
[Page 13038-13039]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr02mr01-34]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 01-004N]

 
Codex Alimentarius Commission: 2nd Session, Ad Hoc 
Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods Derived From Biotechnology

AGENCY: Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Food and Drug Administration 
(FDA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), are 
sponsoring two public meetings, on Tuesday, February 13, and on 
Wednesday, March 7, 2001. The purpose of these meetings is to provide 
information and receive public comments on draft United States' 
positions and agenda items that will be discussed at the 2nd Session of 
the Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods Derived From 
Biotechnology, which will be held in Chiba, Japan, March 25-29, 2001. 
The Under Secretary and FDA recognize the importance of providing 
interested parties the opportunity to obtain background information on 
the 2nd Session, Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods Derived 
From Biotechnology, and address items on the agenda.

DATES: The public meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, February 13, 
2001, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and on Wednesday, March 7, 2001, 1 p.m. to 
4 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held in Conference Room 1409, 
Federal Office Building 8, Food and Drug Administration, 200 C Street, 
SW., Washington, DC 20204. Reference documents will be available for 
review in the FSIS Docket Room, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food 
Safety and Inspection Service, Room 102 Cotton Annex, 300 12th Street, 
SW., Washington, DC 20250-3700. The documents will also be accessible 
via the World Wide Web at the following address: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fao.org/waicent/faoinfo/ECONOMIC/esn/codex/ccfbt2/bt01_01e.htm. Submit one 
original and two copies of written comments to the FSIS Docket Room at 
the address above and reference docket number 01-004N. All comments 
submitted in response to this notice will be available for public 
inspection in the FSIS Docket Room between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., 
Monday through Friday.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patrick J. Clerkin, Associate U.S. 
Manager for Codex, U.S. Codex Office, Food Safety and Inspection 
Service, Room 4861, South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20250. Telephone (202) 205-7760, Fax (202) 720-3157. 
Persons requiring a sign language interpreter or other special 
accommodations should notify Mr. Clerkin at the above number.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) was established in 1962 
by two United Nations Organizations, the Food and Agriculture 
Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Codex is 
the major international organization for encouraging fair international 
trade in food and protecting the health and economic interests of 
consumers. Through adoption of food standards, codes of practice, and 
other guidelines developed by its committees, and by promoting their 
adoption and implementation by governments, Codex seeks to ensure that 
the world's food supply is sound, wholesome, free from adulteration, 
and correctly labeled. Codex, at its 23rd Session, established the Ad 
Hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods Derived From Biotechnology to 
develop standards, guidelines, or recommendations, as appropriate, for 
foods derived from biotechnology or traits introduced into foods by 
biotechnology, on the basis of scientific evidence, risk analysis and 
having regard, where appropriate, to other legitimate factors relevant 
to the health of consumers and the promotion of fair trade practices. 
The Task Force is chaired by the government of Japan.

Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meetings

    The provisional agenda items and the relevant documents to be 
discussed during the public meetings:

1. Adoption of the Agenda, Document CX/FBT 01/1
2. Matters Referred to the Task Force by Other Codex Committees, 
Document CX/FBT 01/2
3. Matters of Interest from Other International Organizations with 
respect to the Evaluation of the Safety and Nutrition Aspects of Foods 
Derived from Biotechnology, Document CX/FBT 01/3
4. Consideration of Proposed Draft General Principles for the Risk 
Analysis of Foods Derived from Modern Biotechnology at Step 4, Document 
CX/FBT 01/4, and

[[Page 13039]]

Comments submitted at Step 3, Document CX/FBT 01/4 Add.1
5. Consideration of Proposed Draft Guideline for the Conduct of Safety 
Assessment of Foods Derived from Recombinant-DNA Plants at Step 4, 
Document CX/FBT 01/5, and Comments submitted at Step 3, Document CX/FBT 
01/5 Add.1
6. Discussion Paper on Traceability, Document CX/FBT 01/6
7. Information Paper on Familiarity, Document CX/FBT 01/7
8. Consideration of Analytical Methods, Document CX/FBT 01/8
9. Other Business, Future Work and Date and Place of Next Session

    In advance of these meetings, the U.S. Delegate to the Task Force 
will have assigned responsibility for development of U.S. positions on 
these issues to members of government. The individuals assigned 
responsibility will be named at these meetings and will take comment on 
and develop draft U.S positions. All interested parties are invited to 
provide information and comments on the above issues, or on any other 
issues that may be brought before the Task Force.

Public Meetings

    At the February 13th public meeting, the issues will be described, 
discussed, and attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions 
and offer comments. At the March 7th public meeting, draft United 
States' positions on the issues will be described, discussed, and 
attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions and offer 
comments. Please state that your comments relate to Task Force 
activities and specify which issues your comments address.

Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy 
development is important. Consequently, in an effort to better ensure 
that minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are aware of this 
notice, FSIS will announce it and provide copies of this Federal 
Register publication in the FSIS Constituent Update. FSIS provides a 
weekly FSIS Constituent Update, which is communicated via fax to over 
300 organizations and individuals. In addition, the update is available 
on-line through the FSIS web page located at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fsis.usda.gov. 
The update is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, 
procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public 
meetings, recalls, and any other types of information that could affect 
or would be of interest to our constituents/stakeholders. The 
constituent fax list consists of industry, trade, and farm groups, 
consumer interest groups, allied health professionals, scientific 
professionals, and other individuals that have requested to be 
included. Through these various channels, FSIS is able to provide 
information to a much broader, more diverse audience. For more 
information and to be added to the constituent fax list, fax your 
request to the Congressional and Public Affairs Office, at (202) 720-
5704.

    Done at Washington, DC on February 6, 2001.
F. Edward Scarbrough,
U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
[FR Doc. 01-5037 Filed 3-1-01; 8:45 am]
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