[Federal Register: March 14, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 50)]
[Notices]               
[Page 12338-12339]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr14mr03-20]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 03-007N]

 
Codex Alimentarius: 31st Session of the Codex Committee on Food 
Labelling

AGENCY: Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting; 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), Department of Health and Human Services, are sponsoring a public 
meeting on March 20, 2003, to provide information and receive public 
comments on agenda items that will be discussed at the 31st Session of 
the Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL), which will be held in 
Ottawa, Canada, on April 28-May 2, 2003. USDA and FDA recognize the 
importance of providing interested parties the opportunity to obtain 
background information on the CCFL of the Codex Alimentarius Commission 
(Codex) and to address items on the Agenda for the 31st Session of the 
CCFL.

DATES: The public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 20, 2003, 
from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held in the Auditorium, Harvey W. 
Wiley Federal Building, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD. To 
receive copies of the documents referenced in this 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 at the following address: http://www.codexalimentarius.net/current.asp
    If you have comments, please send an original and two copies to the 

FSIS Docket Clerk and reference Docket Number 03-007N. 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.
    To gain admittance to this meeting, individuals should preregister. 
All registrants will need to present a photo ID for entrance into the 
Auditorium. To pre-register, please contact Ms. Theresa Thomas, at 
(301) 436-1967 or (301) 436-2636 (fax).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ellen Matten, International Issues 
Analyst, 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 properly labeled. In the 
United States, USDA, FDA, and the Environmental Protection Agency 
manage and carry out U.S. Codex activities.
    The CCFL drafts labeling provisions that are applicable to all 
foods; considers, amends if necessary, and endorses specific provisions 
on labeling of draft standards, codes of practice, and guidelines 
prepared by other Codex committees; studies specific labeling problems 
assigned to it by the Commission; and studies problems associated with 
the advertisement of food, with particular reference to claims and 
misleading descriptions. The CCFL is chaired by Canada.

Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meeting

    The provisional agenda items to be discussed during the public 
meeting:
    1. Adoption of the Agenda.
    2. Matters referred by the Codex Alimentarius Commission and other 
Codex Committees.
    3. Consideration of Labelling Provisions in the Draft Codex 
Standards.
    4. Draft Amendment to the General Standard for the Labelling of 
Prepackaged Foods (Class names).
    5. Draft Amendment to the Guidelines on Nutrition Labelling 
(Section 3.2 Listing of Nutrients).
    6. Draft Guidelines for the Use of Health and Nutrition Claims.
    7. (a.) Draft Recommendations for the Labelling of Foods obtained 
through Certain Techniques of Genetic Modification/Genetic Engineering 
(Draft Amendment to the General Standard for the Labelling of 
Prepackaged Foods): Definitions.
    (b.) Proposed Draft Recommendations for the Labelling of Foods 
obtained through Certain Techniques of Genetic Modification/Genetic 
Engineering (Proposed Draft Guidelines for the Labelling of Foods and 
Food Ingredients Obtained through Certain Techniques of Genetic 
Modification/Engineering): Labelling Provisions.
    8. Guidelines for the Production, Processing, Labelling and 
Marketing of Organically Produced Foods.
    Proposed Draft Revised Sections:
    (a) Section 5--Criteria, and
    (b) Annex 2--Permitted Substances.
    9. Proposed Draft Amendment to the General Standard for the 
Labelling of Prepackaged Foods: Quantitative Declaration of 
Ingredients.
    10. Consideration of Country of Origin Labelling.
    11. Consideration of Food Labelling and Traceability.
    12. Discussion Paper on Misleading Claims.
    Each issue listed will be fully described in documents distributed, 
or to be distributed, by the Canadian Secretariat to the Meeting. 
Members of the public may access or request copies of these documents 
(see ADDRESSES).

Public Meeting

    At the March 20th public meeting, the agenda items will be 
described, discussed, and attendees will have an opportunity to pose 
questions and offer

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comments. Written comments may be offered at the meeting or sent to the 
FSIS Docket Room (see ADDRESSES). Written comments should state that 
they relate to activities of the 31st CCFL.

Additional Information

    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 

on line through the Internet at http://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 March 7, 2003.
F. Edward Scarbrough,
U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
[FR Doc. 03-6122 Filed 3-13-03; 8:45 am]