[Federal Register: September 9, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 174)]
[Notices]               
[Page 53617-53619]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr09se05-27]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 05-028N]

 
Public Meeting on the Food Safety Institute of the Americas

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing 
that it will hold a public meeting on September 29-30, 2005, in Miami, 
Florida, to review and discuss the progress made by the Food Safety 
Institute of the Americas (FSIA). The FSIA was created as an innovative 
approach 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) 
Presentation of assessment and analysis of educational and 
informational needs identified through a survey administered by FSIA's 
partners, the University of Florida and Miami Dade College; (2) 
presentation of FSIA's 3-5 year Strategic Plan; (3) establishing 
strategies and best practices for developing and delivering programs 
identified through the needs survey; and (4) planning next steps for 
the FSIA in fostering collaboration and partnership development of the 
proposed FSIA colleges.
    The public meeting will be an interactive session. Discussions will 
be

[[Page 53618]]

conducted in plenary sessions for each of the above four issues.

DATES: The public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 29, 
2005, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday, September 30, 2005, from 9 a.m. 
to 3 p.m. Comments on this notice must be received on or before 
September 19, 2005.

ADDRESSES: All FSIA meetings will take place at the Renaissance Eden 
Roc Hotel, 4525 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33140. Telephone 
number (305) 531-0000. In addition, a block of rooms has been held for 
participants at the Renaissance Eden Roc Hotel, 4525 Collins Avenue, 
Miami Beach, Florida 33140. Telephone number 1-800-327-8337. 
Participants in the FSIA meeting will receive a special rate of $99.00 
(plus tax) per night. Reservations must be confirmed with the necessary 
credit card or payment information no later than September 14, 2005. 
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-

Web site of the FSIS home page, at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/ www.fsis.usda.gov/. The 

official transcript of the meeting, when it becomes available, will be 
available in FSIS Docket Room, Room 102, Cotton Annex, 300 12th Street, 
SW., Washington, DC 20250-3700.
    FSIS welcomes comments on the topics to be discussed at the public 
meeting. Comments on these topics 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 Food Safety Institute of the Americas, 
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 
Claude Pepper Federal Building, 51 SW First Avenue, Suite 1321, Miami, 
Florida 33130.
     Electronic mail: FSInstituteoftheAmericas@fsis.usda.gov.
    Comments on the meeting notice 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.
     Electronic mail: fsis.regulationscomments@fsis.usda.gov.
    All submissions received must include the Agency name and docket 
number 05-028N.
    All comments on this notice and comments 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_&_policies/2005_Notices_Index/index.asp
.

    Limited shared exhibit space will be available for participants to 
display applicable food safety, food security and defense-related 
educational and training material. Exhibitors are encouraged to notify 
FSIA, as early as possible, by calling the toll-free registration 
number listed below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Linda Swacina, The Food Safety 
Institute of the Americas office at (305) 347-5552, 
linda.swacina@fsis.usda.gov or Stephen Hawkins, The Food Safety 

Institute of the Americas office at (305) 347-5552, 
stephen.hawkins@fsis.usda.gov or Richard Van Blargan, The Food Safety 

Institute of the Americas office at (305) 347-5552, 
richard.vanblargan@fsis.usda.gov for technical information.

    All meeting participants will be required to 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 (Domestically (202) 205-0329 and TOLL FREE 1-
877-239-2455).
    Limited participant registration will be available the morning of 
September 29, 2005. Persons requiring a sign language interpreter or 
other special accommodations should notify the FSIA office no later 
than September 23, 2005, at the (305) 347-5552 or by e-mail 
FSInstituteoftheAmericas@fsis.usda.gov. English and Spanish translation 

services will be provided during meeting hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The explosive growth of the international food market has brought a 
variety of foods never before available to the 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 defense risks 
and on how to manage them.
    The FSIA was formally established at an organizational meeting in 
October 2004, and 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 
accomplish these missions, the FSIA is in the process of developing and 
enlisting 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 endeavors.

FSIA Subject Areas or Colleges

    In one scenario, the FSIA would establish 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.

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 
protection and defense.
    FSIA will provide the regions of the Americas with greater access 
to food safety information and the technical assistance necessary to 
ensure the safety

[[Page 53619]]

of food 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 standards in the Americas. In this way, it will 
encourage and support development of science-based agreements that 
strengthen national and local economies.

Conclusion

    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.

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 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 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 password protect their accounts.

    Done at Washington, DC, on September 7, 2005.
Barbara J. Masters,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 05-18030 Filed 9-7-05; 2:19 pm]

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