[Federal Register: October 5, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 192)]
[Page 59574-59575]
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 59574]]


Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 04-035N]

Food Safety Institute of the Americas

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.


SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service will hold a public 
meeting on October 13-15, 2004, in Miami, Florida, to review and 
discuss the establishment of the Food Safety Institute of the Americas 
(FSIA). The creation of the FSIA is an innovative idea for integrating 
scientific food safety education, information, communication, and 
outreach in the Americas. During the public meeting, the following 
issues relating to the FSIA will be discussed: (1) Identifying and 
assessing educational and informational needs; (2) fostering 
collaboration and partnership development; (3) establishing strategies 
and best practices for developing and delivering programs; and (4) 
planning next steps for the FSIA.
    The public meeting will be an interactive session. Discussions will 
be conducted in plenary sessions as well as in small group workshops 
for each of the above four issues.

DATES: The public meeting will begin on Wednesday, October 13, 2004, 
from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Thursday, October 14, from 8:30 a.m. to 
5:30 p.m. and Friday, October 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

ADDRESSES: All FSIA meetings will take place at the Radisson Hotel 
Miami, 1601 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Florida, 33132.
    In addition, a block of rooms has been held for participants at the 
Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel, 1633 North Bayshore Drive, Miami, Florida 
33132. (Phone: 305-374-3900). Participants for the FSIA meeting will 
receive a special rate of $119.00 per night. Reservations must be 
confirmed with the necessary credit card or payment information no 
later than October 8, 2004. Please reference the USDA-FSIA meeting when 
making reservations.
    A meeting agenda is available on the Internet at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Meetings_&_Events
 which is a sub-

website of the FSIS home page, at http://www.fsis.usda.gov. FSIS 

invites interested persons to submit comments on the topics to be 
discussed at the public meeting. Comments may be submitted by any of 
the following methods:
     Mail, including floppy disks or CD-ROM's, and hand- or 
courier-delivered items: Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 300 12th Street, SW., 
Room 102, Cotton Annex, Washington, DC 20250-3700.
    All submissions received must include the Agency name and docket 
number 04-035N.
    All comments submitted on the topics to be discussed at the public 
meeting will be available for public inspection in the FSIS Docket Room 
at the address listed above between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday 
through Friday. The comments also will be posted on the Agency's Web 
site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations/2004_notices_index/index.asp

Institute of the Americas office at 305-347-5552, 
linda.swacina@fsis.usda.gov or Mr. Robert Tynan, SIPO-Office of Public 
Affairs Education and Outreach at 202-690-6522, 
robert.tynan@fsis.usda.gov for technical information.
    All meeting participants will be required to pre-register before 
entering the meeting. A pre-registration form is located at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Meetings_&_Events.
 You may also 

call in your registration using a special toll free number that has 
been established for the public meeting. To phone in registration, 
please call 866-520-8999.
    Persons requiring a sign language interpreter or other special 
accommodations should notify the FSIA office no later than October 7, 
2004, at the above number or by e-mail.



    The explosive growth of the international food market has brought a 
variety of food never before available to the ordinary consumer's table 
throughout the Americas. People can consume new products from different 
regions and enjoy traditional seasonal favorites throughout the year. 
Countries are now more dependent on each other's safeguards to 
guarantee their citizens a wholesome food supply and to protect the 
public health of their country and the region.
    The nations of the Americas make up a community committed to 
meeting the many challenges of ensuring food safety and security. One 
approach to these complex problems is for our countries to develop and 
effectively exchange scientific information and education on food 
safety and security risks and on how to manage them.
    The FSIA is an innovative approach for harmonizing, developing, and 
distributing food safety and security information and education 
throughout the Americas; coordinating programs so that we concentrate 
on areas where our needs are the greatest; sharing resources on 
programs that already exist within our community; promoting the 
development of international food safety standards; and protecting 
ourselves as a region from food security threats.
    To do this, the FSIA will develop and enlist the support of 
existing networks among researchers, public health officials, 
regulatory officials, and food and animal producers and distributors. 
There are many academic, governmental and nongovernmental organizations 
with wide-ranging expertise that would make them potential partners in 
FSIA's development and implementation.

FSIA Subject Areas or Colleges

    In one scenario, the FSIA would be divided into the following nine 
colleges and include development and implementation of training, 
education, and information materials in these areas: (1) Codex 
Alimentarius; (2) Regulatory Foundation Studies; (3) Public Health 
Studies; (4) Food Security; (5) Manufactured Foods; (6) Animal and Food 
Production Studies; (7) Retail Programs; (8) Laboratory Studies; and 
(9) Consumer Education and Information Programs.

[[Page 59575]]

FSIA Benefits

    The major goal of the FSIA is to improve and harmonize food safety 
education, information, and communication throughout the Americas in 
order to improve public health within each and among the countries of 
the region. It will provide major outreach activities to identify, 
develop, and coordinate educational programs and to promote the 
development of international food safety standards and common food 
security protection.
    FSIA will provide the region with greater access to food safety 
information and the technical assistance necessary to ensure the safety 
of meat, poultry, and egg products. In addition, FSIA will promote the 
activities of the Codex Alimentarius Commission to bring about 
standardization of food safety requirements and become a forum for 
scientific discussion relevant to food safety and international 
standards in the Americas. In this way, it will encourage and support 
development of science-based agreements that strengthen national and 
local economies.


    The FSIA will help establish working relationships among 
collaborating countries through regular interaction of academic 
researchers and educators, government regulators, and food safety 
professionals. Enhancing and fostering these contacts are critically 
important in addressing regional food safety concerns and improving 
understanding about requirements for imported and exported products.
    All interested parties are welcome to attend the meetings and to 
submit written comments and suggestions addressing issues concerning 
the FSIA that will be reviewed and discussed. The comments and the 
official transcript of the meeting, when they become available, will be 
kept in the FSIS Docket Room at the address provided above. All 
comments received in response to this notice will be considered part of 
the public record and will be available for viewing in the FSIS Docket 
Room between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for 
Federal holidays.

Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy 
development is important. Consequently, in an effort to better ensure 
that the public and in particular that minorities, women, and persons 
with disabilities are aware of this notice, FSIS will announce it on-
line through the FSIS Web site located at http://www.fsis.usda.gov.

    FSIS also will make copies of this Federal Register publication 
available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which 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 update is communicated via a free e-
mail subscription service consisting of industry, trade, and farm 
groups, consumer interest groups, allied health professionals, 
scientific professionals, and other individuals who have requested to 
be included. The update also is available on the FSIS Web site. Through 
the free e-mail subscription service and the Web site, FSIS is able to 
provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience.

    Done at Washington, DC on September 30, 2004.
Bryce Quick,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 04-22392 Filed 10-1-04; 8:45 am]