[Federal Register: February 15, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 30)]
[Notices]               
[Page 7712-7713]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr15fe05-33]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 04-053N]

 
Codex Alimentarius Commission: Proposals for New Work and 
Priorities for the Codex ad hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods 
Derived From Biotechnology

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 March 3, 2005, to provide 
information and receive public comments on new work and priorities for 
the ad hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Food Derived from 
Biotechnology of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex). Following 
approval at the 27th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (June 
28-July 3, 2004) to establish the Task Force, under the chairmanship of 
Japan, Codex agreed to solicit comments on the work that the Task Force 
should undertake and on the priorities for this new work.

DATES: The public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 3, 2005, 
from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held in Room 107-A of the Jamie 
L. Whitten Federal Building, 12th & Jefferson Drive, SW., Washington 
DC.
    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 04-053N.
    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/2005_Notices_Index/index.asp.

    For further information about the Codex ad hoc Intergovernmental 
Task Force on Food Derived from Biotechnology contact: Bernice Slutsky, 
Ph.D., Special Assistant to the Secretary for Biotechnology, Office of 
the Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 12th Street & Jefferson 
Drive, Washington, DC 20250. Phone: (202) 690-0735, e-mail: 
Bernice.slutsky@usda.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE PUBLIC MEETING CONTACT: Paulo 
Almeida, U.S. Codex Office, FSIS, Room 4861, South Building, 1400 
Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-3700, phone: (202) 690-
4042, 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 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 ad hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods Derived from 
Biotechnology develops standards, guidelines and recommendations for 
foods derived from modern biotechnology or for traits introduced into 
foods by modern biotechnology, on the basis of scientific evidence and 
risk analysis, having regard, where appropriate, to other legitimate 
factors relevant to the health of consumers and the promotion of fair 
practices in the food trade.

Public Meeting

    At the March 3, 2005 public meeting, attendees will have the 
opportunity to pose questions and offer comments on work to be 
undertaken by the Codex ad hoc Task Force on Foods Derived from 
Biotechnology. Written comments may be offered at the meeting or sent 
to Dr. Bernice Slutsky (See ADDRESSES). Written comments should state 
that they relate to activities of the proposed ad hoc Codex 
Intergovernmental Task

[[Page 7713]]

Force for Foods Derived from Biotechnology.

Additional Public Notification

    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/2005_Notices_Index/
.

    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 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 also 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.
    In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which 
provides an automatic and customized notification when popular pages 
are updated, including Federal Register publications and related 
documents. This service is available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/news_and_events/email_subscription/
 and allows FSIS customers to sign up 

for subscription options across eight categories. Options range from 
recalls to export information to regulations, directives and notices. 
Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves and have the 
option to password protect their account.

    Done in Washington, DC on: February 8, 2005.
F. Edward Scarbrough,
U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
[FR Doc. 05-2824 Filed 2-14-05; 8:45 am]