[Federal Register: August 9, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 152)]
[Notices]               
[Page 46132-46133]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr09au05-36]                         

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Notices
                                                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.

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[[Page 46132]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 05-025N]

 
Codex Alimentarius Commission: Fifth Session of the Codex ad hoc 
Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods Derived From Biotechnology

AGENCY: Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, 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), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
(HHS), are sponsoring a public meeting on August 30, 2005, to provide 
draft U.S. positions and receive public comments on agenda items that 
will be discussed at the Fifth Session of the Codex ad hoc 
Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods Derived from Biotechnology of the 
Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), which will be held in Chiba, 
Japan, September 19-23, 2005. The Under Secretary and FDA recognize the 
importance of providing interested parties the opportunity to comment 
on the agenda items that will be debated at this forthcoming Session of 
the FBT.

DATES: The public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 30, 2005, 
from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held in Room 107A, Jamie Whitten 
Building, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC.
    Documents related to the Fifth Session of the FBT 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, USDA, 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 05-025N. 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/.

    Participation by Conference Call: A call-in number has been 
arranged: 1-888-405-9176, participant code CODEX.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE FIFTH SESSION OF THE FBT CONTACT: 
U.S. Delegate, Bernice Slutsky, Special Assistant to the Secretary for 
Biotechnology, Office of the Secretary, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave., 
SW., Washington, DC 20250, Phone (202) 720-3631, Fax: (202) 720-6314, 
E-mail: Bernice.Slutsky@usda.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE PUBLIC MEETING 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 ad hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods Derived from 
Biotechnology was established by the 23rd Session of the Codex 
Alimentarius Commission in 1999 to elaborate standards, guidelines, or 
other principles as relates to foods derived from biotechnology. The 
Task Force completed its mandates within its four year time frame and 
was dissolved by the 26th Session of the Commission. The 27th Session 
re-established the Task Force for another four year period. The Task 
Force is hosted by the government of Japan.

Issues to be Discussed at the Public Meeting

    The following items on the agenda for the Fifth Session of FBT will 
be discussed during the public meeting:
     Matters referred to the Committee from other Codex bodies.
     Review of the Work by International Organizations on the 
Evaluation of the Safety and Nutrition Aspects of Foods Derived from 
Biotechnology.
     Consideration of the Elaboration of Standards, Guidelines 
or other Texts for Foods Derived from Biotechnology.
    Each issue listed will be fully described in documents distributed, 
or to be distributed, by the Japanese Secretariat to the Meeting. 
Members of the public may access or request copies of these documents 
at: http://www.codexalimentarious.net/current.asp.


Public Meeting

    At the August 30, 2005, public meeting, draft U.S. positions on 
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 Fifth Session of FBT, Dr. Bernice Slutsky, (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION ABOUT THE FIFTH SESSION OF THE FBT CONTACT). Written 
comments should state that they relate to activities of the Fifth 
Session of the FBT.

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

[[Page 46133]]

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 electronic mail subscription service for 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 electronic mail 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 protect their accounts with passwords.

    Done at Washington, DC on August 4, 2005.
F. Edward Scarbrough,
U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
[FR Doc. 05-15729 Filed 8-8-05; 8:45 am]

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