[Federal Register: March 15, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 50)]
[Notices]               
[Page 12113-12114]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr15mr04-30]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 04-005N]

 
Codex Alimentarius Commission: 32nd Session of the Codex 
Committee on Food Labelling

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting, request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, United 
States Department of Agriculture, and the Food And Drug Administration 
(FDA) of the Department of Health and Human Services, are sponsoring a 
public meeting on March 30, 2004 to provide information and receive 
public comments on agenda items that will be discussed at the 32nd 
Session of the Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL) of the Codex 
Alimentarius Commission (Codex), which will be held in Montreal, Canada 
on May 10-14, 2004. The Under Secretary and FDA recognize the 
importance of providing interested parties the opportunity to obtain 
background information on the agenda items that will be debated at this 
forthcoming Session of the CCFL.

DATES: The public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 30, 2004, 
from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held in Room 107-A of the 
Department of Agriculture, Jamie Whitten Building, 1400 Independence 
Avenue, 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 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 the Docket  04-005N. 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: 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

    The Codex Alimentarius (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 manage and carry out U.S. Codex 
activities.
    The Codex Committee on Food Labeling (CCFL) drafts provisions on 
labeling 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 
Committee is chaired by Canada.

[[Page 12114]]

Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meeting

    The provisional agenda items will 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 Draft Codex Standards.
    4. Draft guidelines for the use of health and nutrition claims.
    5. Guidelines for the production, processing, labelling and 
marketing of organically produced foods: proposed draft revised 
sections: Annex 2--Permitted Substances.
    6. Labelling of foods and food ingredients obtained through certain 
techniques of genetic modification /genetic engineering:
    (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.
    7. Proposed draft amendment to the General Standard for the 
Labelling of Prepackaged Foods: quantitative declaration of 
ingredients.
    8. Consideration of country of origin labelling.
    9. Consideration of food labelling and traceability.
    10. 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 30, 2004, public meeting, the agenda items will be 
described, discussed, and attendees will have the opportunity to pose 
questions and offer 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 32nd 
Session of the CCFL, Docket  04-005N.

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, 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 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 
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 in Washington, DC, on March 10, 2004.
F. Edward Scarbrough,
U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
[FR Doc. 04-5815 Filed 3-12-04; 8:45 am]