[Federal Register: September 12, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 176)]
[Page 53649-53650]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. FSIS-2006-0011E]

Harvard Risk Assessment of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) 
Update; Notice of Availability and Technical Meeting

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of availability; reopening and extension of comment 


SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is reopening and 
extending the comment period for the 2005 updated Harvard Risk 
Assessment of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The original 
comment period closed on August 11, 2006. The Agency is taking this 
action in response to a comment that was submitted after the Agency 
held its July 25, 2006, technical meeting to provide information on the 
updated risk assessment model and report.

DATES: Comments are due by October 27, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: This Web site provides the ability to 
type short comments directly into the comment field on this Web page or 
attach a file for lengthier comments. Go

[[Page 53650]]

to http://www.regulations.gov and, in the ``Search for Open 

Regulations'' box, select ``Food Safety and Inspection Service'' from 
the agency drop-down menu, and then click on ``Submit.'' In the Docket 
ID column, select FDMS Docket Number FSIS-2005-0011 to submit or view 
public comments and to view supporting and related material available 
electronically. This docket can be viewed using the ``Advanced Search'' 
function in Regulations.gov.
    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.regulations[fxsp0]comments@fsis.usda.gov.
    All submissions received by mail and electronic mail must include 
the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2006-0011. 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 to the regulations.gov Web site and on the Agency's Web site 
at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/2006_Notice_Index/index.asp

Regulations and Petitions Policy Staff, Office of Policy, Program, and 
Employee Development, Room 112, Cotton Annex, 300 12th Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20250-3700; Telephone (202) 720-5627.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 12, 2006, FSIS published a notice in 
the Federal Register announcing that the Agency was making the 2005 
updated Harvard Risk Assessment of BSE available to the public. In the 
notice, FSIS gave the public until August 11, 2006, to submit comments 
on the updated risk assessment. The notice also announced that the 
Agency would be holding a technical meeting to provide information on 
the 2005 updated Harvard Risk Assessment. This meeting was held on July 
25, 2006.
    On August 1, 2006, FSIS received a comment requesting that the 
Agency extend the comment period on the updated Harvard Risk Assessment 
until 45 days from the day on which it makes the transcript of the July 
25, 2006, technical meeting publicly available. The comment was 
submitted by a trade association that represents small cattle 
producers. The comment asserted that the 30-day comment period provided 
in the July 12, 2006, Federal Register notice is not an adequate amount 
of time to evaluate the new assumptions and analyses in the revised 
risk assessment, and that it needed the official transcript of the 
technical meeting proceedings to formulate its comments.
    FSIS agrees that the matters presented in the risk assessment are 
complex. Therefore, FSIS is reopening the comment period for 45 days as 
the transcript of the July 25, 2006, technical meeting is now available 
on the FSIS Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/BSE_Transcript_072506.pdf and http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/2006_events/


to fully assess the complex information presented at the technical 
meeting and to make written comments based upon their assessments.

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 proposal, FSIS will announce it on-line 
through the FSIS Web page located at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/2006_Notices_Index/index.asp

    The Regulations.gov Web site is the central online rulemaking 
portal of the United States government. It is being offered as a public 
service to increase participation in the Federal government's 
regulatory activities. FSIS participates in Regulations.gov and will 
accept comments on documents published on the site. The site allows 
visitors to search by keyword or Department or Agency for rulemakings 
that allow for public comment. Each entry provides a quick link to a 
comment form so that visitors can type in their comments and submit 
them to FSIS. The Web site is located at http://www.regulations.gov.

    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 e-mail subscription service which 
provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news 
and information. This service is available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/news_and_events/email_subscription/

    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, September 6, 2006.
Barbara J. Masters,
[FR Doc. E6-15017 Filed 9-11-06; 8:45 am]