[Federal Register: April 7, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 66)]
[Notices]               
[Page 17644-17645]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr07ap05-29]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 05-008N]

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

AGENCY: Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety.

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 April 7, 2005, to provide 
information and receive public comments on the draft U.S. responses to 
Codex Circular Letter CL 2005/2-FBT: Proposals for new work to be 
undertaken by the Codex Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods 
Derived from Biotechnology. Following approval at the 27th Session of 
the Codex Alimentarius Commission (from June 28 to 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 ought to undertake 
and on the priorities for this new work.

DATES: The public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 7, 2005, 
from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held in Room 107-A of the Jamie 
L. Whitten Federal Building, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC.
    The Food Safety and Inspection Service (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,

[[Page 17645]]

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 05-
008N.
    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 Foods Derived From Biotechnology, Contact: Bernice 
Slutsky, Ph.D., Special Assistant to the Secretary for Biotechnology, 
Office of the Secretary, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC 20250; telephone: (202) 690-0735; electronic 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; telephone: (202) 
690-4042; facsimile: (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. The standards, guidelines, and 
recommendations are developed on the basis of scientific evidence and 
risk analysis, having regard, where appropriate, for other legitimate 
factors relevant to the health of consumers and the promotion of fair 
practices in the food trade.

Public Meeting

    At the April 7, 2005, public meeting, attendees will have an 
opportunity to pose questions and offer comments on draft U.S. 
responses to Codex Circular Letter CL 2005/2-FBT: proposals for new 
work to be undertaken by the Codex Ad Hoc Intergovernmental 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 Codex Ad 
Hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods Derived from Biotechnology. 
Members of the public may access Circular Letter CL 2005/2-FBT at 
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Codex_cl05_02e.pdf.


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/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 meetings, recalls, and other types of 
information that could affect or would be of interest to constituents 
and stakeholders. The update is communicated via Listserv, a free 
electronic mail subscription service for industry, trade, and farm 
groups, consumer interest groups, allied health professionals, 
scientific professionals, and other individuals who have asked 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.
    In addition, FSIS offers an electronic mail subscription service 
that 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 in 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 protect their accounts with passwords.

    Done at Washington, DC, on April 4, 2005.
F. Edward Scarbrough,
U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
[FR Doc. 05-7012 Filed 4-5-05; 11:36 am]