[Federal Register: December 29, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 249)]
[Notices]               
[Page 77981-77982]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr29de04-34]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 04-048N]

 
Codex Alimentarius Commission: Thirty-third 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 (USDA), and the Food and Drug 
Administration (FDA), United States Department of Health and Human 
Services, are sponsoring a public meeting on January 19, 2005, to 
provide information and receive public comments on certain agenda items 
that will be discussed at the Thirty-third Session of the Codex 
Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission 
(Codex). The 33rd Session of the CCFL will be held in Kota Kinabalu, 
Malaysia, May 9-13, 2005. 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 discussed at 
this forthcoming session of the CCFL.

DATES: The public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 19, 2005 
from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held in the Auditorium (Room 1A-
003), Harvey W. Wiley Federal Building, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, 
College Park, MD. Documents related to the 33rd Session of the CCFL 
will be accessible via the World Wide Web at the following address: 
http://www.codexalimentarius.net/current.asp.

    FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this notice. 
Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:
     Mail, including floppy disks or CD-ROMs, and hand- or 
courier-delivered items: Send to the FSIS Docket Clerk, U.S. Department 
of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 300 12th Street, 
SW., Room 102, Cotton Annex, Washington DC 20730. All comments received 
must include the Agency name and docket number 04-048N.
    All comments submitted in response to this notice, 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

    Participation by Conference Call: A call-in number has been 

arranged: 1-877-322-9654, participant code 920770.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE 33RD SESSION OF THE CCFL CONTACT: 
U.S. Delegate, Leslye Fraser, J.D. Director, Office of Regulations and 
Policy, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA. 5100 Paint 
Branch Parkway (HFS-004), College Park, MD 20740. Phone: (301) 436-2378 
Fax: (301) 436-2637, E-mail: leslye.fraser@fda.hhs.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE PUBLIC MEETING CONTACT: Ellen Matten, 
International Issues Analyst, U.S. Codex Office, FSIS, Room 4861, South 
Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-3700, 
Phone: (202) 205-7760, Fax: (202) 720-3157.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Codex Alimentarius Commission (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 standard-setting organization for

[[Page 77982]]

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 (EPA) 
manage and carry out U.S. Codex activities.
    The Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL) drafts provisions on 
labelling applicable to all foods; considers, amends if necessary, and 
endorses specific provisions on labelling of draft standards, codes of 
practice, and guidelines prepared by other Codex committees; studies 
specific labelling 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.

Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meeting

    The following items on the agenda for the 33rd Session of CCFL will 
be discussed during the public meeting:
    1. Proposed Draft Guidelines for the Labelling of Foods Obtained 
Through Certain Techniques of Genetic Modification/Genetic Engineering: 
Labelling Provisions and Definitions.
    2. Country of Origin Labelling: Response to CL 2004/56-FL.
    3. Discussion Paper on Advertising: Response to CL 2004/54-FL.
    4. Proposed Draft Amendment to the General Standard for the 
Labelling of Prepackaged Foods (Quantitative Ingredient Declaration).
    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 copies of these documents (see 
ADDRESSES).

Public Meeting

    At the January 19, 2005 public meeting, these 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 U.S. Delegate, for the 33rd Session of the CCFL, 
Leslye Fraser (See Addresses). Written comments should state that they 
relate to activities of the 33rd Session of the CCFL.

Additional Public Information

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy 
development is important. Consequently, in an effort to ensure that the 
public and in particular minorities, women, and persons with 
disabilities are aware of this notice, FSIS will announce it on-line 
through the FSIS Web page located at 
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations/2004_Notices_Index/index.asp.

    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 meeting, recalls, and other types of 
information that could affect or would be of interest to our 
constituents and stakeholders. The update is communicated via Listserv, 
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 is available on the FSIS Web page. Through 
Listserv and the Web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a 
much broader, more diverse audience.

    Done at Washington, DC, on December 23, 2004.
F. Edward Scarbrough,
U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
[FR Doc. 04-28465 Filed 12-28-04; 8:45 am]