[Federal Register: January 28, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 18)]
[Page 4106-4107]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

                                                Federal Register

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.


[[Page 4106]]


Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 04-002N]

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Teaching Workshops

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing 
that it will hold a series of teaching workshops from January through 
March 2004, to discuss the actions that FSIS has taken to prevent human 
exposure to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) by ensuring that 
high-risk materials do not enter the human food supply. FSIS published 
three interim rules and a notice on January 12, 2004, that contain 
requirements for official establishments that slaughter cattle and 
process beef and beef products to prevent adulteration with the BSE 
agent. Each meeting will include an opportunity for the attendees to 
ask questions of the USDA representatives presiding over the meeting.

DATES: The workshops will be held on January 31, 2004 in Tacoma, WA; 
February 7, 2004 in Boise, ID; February 21, 2004 in Sioux Falls, SD; 
February 28, 2004 in Madison, WI; and March 6, 2004 in Binghamton, NY.


January 31, 2004, in Tacoma, Washington--Sheraton Tacoma Hotel, 1320 
Broadway Plaza, Tacoma, WA 98402, (253) 572-3200.
February 7, 2004, in Boise, Idaho--Red Lion Hotel Downtowner, 1800 
Fairview Avenue, Boise, ID 83702, (208) 344-7691.
February 21, 2004, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota--Holiday Inn City 
Centre, 100 W. 8th St., Sioux Falls, SD 57104, (605) 339-2000.
February 28, 2004, in Madison, Wisconsin--Sheraton Madison Hotel, 706 
John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI 53703, (608) 251-2300.
March 6, 2004, in Binghamton, New York--NYS Office of General Services, 
Binghamton State Office Building, 44 Hawley Street, Binghamton, NY 
13901, (607) 722-0000 (This location may change).

    A tentative agenda will be available in the FSIS Docket Room and on 
the Internet at http://www.fsis.usda.gov. FSIS highly recommends that 

attendees pre-register for the workshops. To pre-register please call 1 
(800) 384-3100 and follow the prompts. Or you may register online at 
the following websites:

Tacoma, Washington: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/forms/reg_tacoma.aspBoise, Idaho: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/forms/reg_boise.asp


Madison, Wisconsin: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/forms/reg_madison.aspBinghamton, New York: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/forms/reg_


Initiatives, Partnership and Outreach Staff at (202) 690-6497. If a 
sign language interpreter or other special accommodations are required, 
please contact Ms. Mary Harris, no later than January 29, 2004.
    For technical information, please contact Ms. Mary Cutshall, 
Director, Strategic Initiatives, Partnerships and Outreach Staff, 
Office of Public Affairs, Education and Outreach, at (202) 690-6520.



    On December 23, 2003, the U.S. Department of Agriculture activated 
its interagency emergency response plan for BSE. The emergency response 
was activated after the diagnosis of BSE in a Holstein cow slaughtered 
at an official establishment in the State of Washington. FSIS has taken 
several actions that are intended to prevent human exposure to 
materials that scientific studies have demonstrated can contain the BSE 
agent in cattle infected with the disease.
    On January 12, 2004, FSIS published three interim final rules and a 
Federal Register notice to address this situation. The first, 
``Prohibition of the Use of Specified Risk Materials for Human Food and 
Requirements for the Disposition of Non-Ambulatory Disabled Cattle'' 
prohibits the use of ``specified risk materials'' (SRM) from cattle in 
human food. The SRMs are defined in the rule as the brain, skull, eyes, 
trigeminal ganglia, spinal cord, vertebral column (excluding the 
vertebrae of the tail, the transverse processes of the thoracic and 
lumbar vertebrae, and the wings of the sacrum), and dorsal root ganglia 
of cattle 30 months of age or older and the tonsils and distal ileum of 
the small intestine of all cattle. The interim final rule also requires 
that all non-ambulatory disabled cattle that are presented for 
slaughter will be condemned.
    The second rule, ``Meat Produced by Advanced Meat/Bone Separation 
Machinery and Meat Recovery (AMR) Systems,'' prohibits product prepared 
using AMR systems from being labeled as ``meat'' if it contains any 
spinal cord, dorsal root ganglia, trigeminal ganglia, or brain tissue 
from livestock. The Agency also established standards for the levels of 
calcium and iron in AMR product and banned the use of mechanically 
separated beef. AMR product from livestock other than cattle that 
contains central nervous-type tissues may be relabeled for use as MS 
    Another interim final rule, ``Prohibition on the Use of Certain 
Stunning Devices Used to Immobilize Cattle During Slaughter,'' will ban 
the use of air injection stunning in official establishments.
    A Federal Register notice, ``Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy 
Surveillance Program,'' specifies that FSIS will not permit the 
carcasses or parts of ambulatory, non-disabled cattle that have passed 
FSIS ante mortem inspection, but have been selected by the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service for testing, to enter the human food 
supply until negative sample results for the BSE agent are received by 
FSIS. The workshops are designed to provide an overview of the new 
regulatory requirements to owners and operators of small and very small 
establishments that slaughter or process cattle or produce AMR product. 

[[Page 4107]]

attendees will be provided with a more in-depth understanding of these 
new requirements to assist them in complying with these regulations. 
The workshops will also provide opportunities to discuss outreach to 
small and very small plants, ensuring that these establishments receive 
the guidance that they need to successfully respond to the new 
requirements. Representatives of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection 
Service will also participate in the workshops.

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 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/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 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 23, 2004.
Garry L. McKee,
[FR Doc. 04-1817 Filed 1-27-04; 8:45 am]