[Federal Register: January 31, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 21)]
[Notices]               
[Page 4981-4982]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr31ja03-48]                         


-----------------------------------------------------------------------


DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Food Safety and Inspection Service


[Docket No. 03-001N]


 
Codex Alimentarius Commission: 25th (Extraordinary) Session of 
the Codex Alimentarius Commission


AGENCY: Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety.


ACTION: Notice of public meeting; request for comments.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------


SUMMARY: The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, United 
States Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration 
(FDA) are sponsoring a public meeting on January 31, 2003, to provide 
information and receive public comments on agenda items that will be 
discussed at the meeting of the Codex Alimentarius Commission to be 
held in Geneva, Switzerland on February 13-15, 2003. The Under 
Secretary and FDA recognize the importance of providing interested 
parties the opportunity to obtain background information on the Twenty-
fifth (Extraordinary) Session of Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) 
and to address items on the Agenda for the 25th Commission meeting.


DATES: The public meeting is scheduled for Friday, January 31, 2003, 
from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held in Room 107A, Jamie L. 
Whitten Federal Building, USDA, 12th and Jefferson Drive, SW., 
Washington, DC. To receive copies of the documents referenced in the 
notice contact the FSIS Docket Clerk, 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. If you have comments, please send an 
original and two copies to the FSIS Docket Clerk and reference Docket 
Number 03-001N. All comments submitted will be available for public 
inspection in the Docket Clerk's Office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 
p.m., Monday through Friday.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: F. Edward Scarbrough, Ph.D., 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, Phone: (202) 205-7760, Fax: (202) 720-3157.


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:


Background


    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 
protecting the health and economic interests of consumers and 
encouraging fair international trade in food. 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. In the 
United States, USDA, FDA, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
manage and carry out U.S. Codex activities.


Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meeting


    Report of the Evaluation of the Codex Alimentarius and other FAO 
and WHO Food Standards Work. An evaluation was commissioned by FAO and 
WHO and also designed to meet the request for a review by the Codex 
Alimentarius Commission. The evaluation team has completed its work and 
made over 40 recommendations regarding Codex policies and procedures, 
the expert committees, and capacity building efforts of FAO and WHO. 
These recommendations will be discussed at the public meeting and at 
the 25th (Extraordinary) Session of the Commission.
    FAO/WHO Trust Fund. At its 24th Session, the Codex Alimentarius 
Commission agreed in principle to establish an FAO/WHO Trust Fund to 
support developing country participation in the Codex Commission and 
subsidiary body meetings. FAO and


[[Page 4982]]


WHO were to develop clear rules and procedures for the establishment 
and functioning of a trust fund for consideration by the Commission to 
ensure its complete transparency and avoidance of bias and influence, 
to report on its implementation and indicate envisioned sources of 
funding. These rules and procedures will be discussed at the public 
meeting and at the 25th (Extraordinary) Session of the Commission.


Public Meeting


    At the January 31st public meeting, the agenda items will be 
described and discussed, and attendees will have the opportunity to 
pose questions and offer comments. Comments may be sent to the FSIS 
Docket Room (see ADDRESSES). Written comments should state that they 
relate to activities of the 25th (Extraordinary) Session of the Codex 
Alimentarius Commission.


Additional Public Notification


    Pursuant to Departmental Regulation 4300-4, ``Civil Rights Impact 
Analysis,'' dated September 22, 1993, FSIS has considered the potential 
civil rights impact of this notice on minorities, women, and persons 
with disabilities. Therefore, to ensure that these groups and others 
are made aware of this meeting, FSIS will announce it and provide 
copies of the Federal Register publication in the FSIS Constituent 
Update. FSIS provides a weekly FSIS Constituent Update, which is 
communicated via Listserv, a free e-mail subscription service. In 
addition, the update is available on line through the Internet at 
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 and stakeholders. The constituent Listserv consists of 
industry, trade, and farm groups, consumer interest groups, allied 
health professionals, scientific professionals, and other individuals 
who have requested to be included. Through the Listserv and web page, 
FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse 
audience.
    For more information, contact the Congressional and Public Affairs 
Office at (202) 720-9113. To be added to the free e-mail subscription 
service (Listserv), go to the ``Constituent Update'' page on the FSIS 
Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/update/update.htm. Click on the 
``Subscribe to the Constituent Update Listserv'' link, then fill out 
and submit the form.


    Done at Washington, DC, on January 28, 2003.
F. Edward Scarbrough,
U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
[FR Doc. 03-2305 Filed 1-30-03; 8:45 am]