[Federal Register: December 23, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 246)]
[Notices]               
[Page 74205]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr23de03-32]                         


[[Page 74205]]

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 03-040N]

 
Codex Alimentarius: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Meat 
Hygiene

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, 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), is sponsoring a public meeting on 
January 15, 2004, to provide information and receive public comments on 
agenda items that will be discussed at the Tenth Session of the Codex 
Committee on Meat Hygiene, which will be held in Auckland, New Zealand, 
on February 16-20, 2004. The Under Secretary recognizes the importance 
of providing interested parties with information about the Codex 
Committee on Meat Hygiene of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and to 
address items on the Agenda for the 10th Session of the Committee.

DATES: The public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 15, 2004, 
from 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held at the Department of 
Agriculture's South Building in Room 0161, 1400 Independence Avenue, 
SW., Washington, DC. To receive copies of the documents referenced in 
this notice, contact the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) 
Docket Clerk, USDA, FSIS, 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/ccmh10/mh04_01e.htm.
 If you have comments, 

please send an original and two copies to the FSIS Docket Clerk and 
reference Docket 03-040N. 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: Edith Kennard, Staff Officer, U.S. 
Codex Office, FSIS, Room 4861, South Agriculture Building, 1400 
Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250, Telephone: (202) 720-
5261, Fax: (202) 720-3157.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Codex Alimentarius Commission 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. In the United States, USDA, the Food and Drug 
Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency manage and 
carry out U.S. Codex activities.
    The Codex Executive Committee (CEC), at its 47th Session in 2000, 
asked that the Codex Committee on Meat Hygiene reconvene to redraft the 
existing codes on meat hygiene so that they reflect contemporary 
developments. The CEC also asked that the scope of the existing codes 
be broadened so as to include poultry meat hygiene. These 
recommendations were confirmed by the 24th Session of the Codex 
Alimentarius Commission in July 2001.

Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meeting

    Provisional agenda items to be discussed during the public meeting:
    1. Draft Code of Hygienic Practice for Meat.
    2. Proposed Draft Annex on Risk-Based Post-Mortem Examination 
Procedures for Meat.
    3. Proposed Draft Annex on Microbiological Verification of Process 
Control of Meat Hygiene.
    4. Discussion Paper on Hygiene Provisions for Processed Meat.

Public Meeting

    At the January 15th public meeting, the agenda items, including 
U.S. positions, will be described and discussed. 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 10th Session of the Codex 
Committee on Meat Hygiene (Docket 03-040N).

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 make copies of this Federal Register 
publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update. FSIS 
provides a weekly Constituent Update, which is communicated via 
Listserv, a free e-mail subscription service. In addition, the update 
is available on-line through the FSIS Web page located 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/stakeholders. The 
constituent Listserv 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 the Listserv and Web page, FSIS is able to provide 
information to a much broader, more diverse audience.
    For more information about Listserv, 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 in Washington, DC on December 17, 2003.
F. Edward Scarbrough,
U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
[FR Doc. 03-31541 Filed 12-22-03; 8:45 am]