[Federal Register: June 6, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 108)]
[Notices]               
[Page 32504-32505]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr06jn06-24]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. FSIS-2006-0016]

 
Codex Alimentarius Commission: 29th Session of the Codex 
Alimentarius Commission

AGENCY: Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture (USDA) is sponsoring a public meeting on June 
15, 2006. The objective of the public meeting is to provide information 
and receive public comments on agenda items and draft United States' 
positions that will be discussed at the 29th Session of the Codex 
Alimentarius Commission (CAC), that will be held in Geneva, 
Switzerland, July 3-7, 2006. The Under Secretary for Food Safety 
recognizes the importance of providing interested parties the 
opportunity to obtain background information on the 29th Session of CAC 
and to address items on the agenda.

DATES: The public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 15, 2006 from 
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held in Room 107-A, J.L. Whitten 
Building, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, 
SW., Washington, DC. Documents related to the 29th Session of the CAC 
will be accessible via the World Wide Web at the following address: 
http://www.codexalimentarius.net/current.asp.

    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:
    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 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, then click on 
``Submit.'' In the Docket ID column, select the FDMS Docket Number 
FSIS-2006-0016 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting 
and related materials available electronically.
    Mail, including floppy disks or CD-ROM's, and hand- or courier-
delivered items: Send to FSIS Docket Room, Docket Clerk, USDA, Food 
Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), 300 12th Street, SW., Room 102, 
Cotton Annex Building, Washington, DC 20250.
    Electronic mail: fsis.regulationscomments@fsis.usda.gov.
    All submissions received must include the Agency name and docket 
number FSIS-2006-0016.
    All comments submitted in response to this notice, as well as 
research and background information used by FSIS in developing this 
document, will be posted to the regulations.gov Web site. The 
background information and comments also 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.
    For Further Information about the 29th Session of the CAC Contact: 
F. Edward Scarbrough, U.S. Manager for Codex, Office of the Under 
Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 
Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250, Phone: (202) 205-7760, 
Fax: (202) 720-3157, E-mail: uscodex@fsis.usda.gov.
    For Further Information about the Public Meeting Contact: Jasmine 
Matthews, 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 1963 by two 
United Nations organizations, the Food and Agriculture Organization 
(FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Codex is the major 
international

[[Page 32505]]

organization for encouraging fair international trade in food and 
protecting the health and economic interests of consumers. 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 protect the health of 
consumers and ensure fair practices in trade.
    The Codex Alimentarius Commission is responsible for making 
proposals to, and being consulted by, the Directors-General of the Food 
and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization 
(WHO) on all matters pertaining to the implementation of the Joint FAO/
WHO Food Standards Programme, the purpose of which is:
    (a) Protecting the health of the consumers and ensuring fair 
practices in the food trade;
    (b) Promoting coordination of all food standards work undertaken by 
international governmental and non governmental organizations;
    (c) Determining priorities and initiating and guiding the 
preparation of draft standards through and with the aid of appropriate 
organizations;
    (d) Finalizing standards elaborated under (c) above and publishing 
them in a Codex Alimentarius either as regional or world wide 
standards, together with international standards already finalized by 
other bodies under (b) above, wherever this is practicable; and
    (e) Amending published standards, after appropriate survey, in the 
light of developments.

Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meeting

    The following items on the Agenda for the 29th Session of the CAC 
will be discussed during the public meeting:
     Election of Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons of the 
Commission Report of the 57th Session of the Executive Committee.
     Amendments to the Procedural Manual.
     Draft Standards and Related Texts submitted to the 
Commission for Adoption.
     Proposed Draft Standards and Related Texts submitted at 
Step 5.
     Revocation of existing Codex Standards and Related Texts.
     Proposals for the Elaboration of new Standards and Related 
Texts and for the Discontinuation of Work.
     Strategic Planning of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
     Implementation of the Joint FAO/WHO Evaluation of the 
Codex Alimentarius and other FAO and WHO Work on Food Standards--
General Implementations Status.
     Review of the Codex Committee Structure and Mandates of 
Codex Committees and Task Forces.
     Matters arising from the Reports of the Commission, Codex 
Committees, and Task Forces.
     Relations between the Codex Alimentarius Commission and 
other International Organizations.
     FAO/WHO Project and Trust Fund for Enhanced Participation 
in Codex.
     Other Matters arising from FAO and WHO.
     Designation of Countries responsible for Appointing the 
Chairpersons of Codex Committees and Task Forces.
    Each issue listed will be fully described in documents distributed, 
or to be distributed, by the Codex Secretariat prior to the Meeting. 
Members of the public may access or request copies of these documents 
via the World Wide Web at the following address: http://www.codexalimentarius.net/current.asp



Public Meeting

    At the June 15th public meeting, draft U.S. positions on the 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. Manager for Codexs, (see 
For Further Information About the 29th Session of the CAC Contact). 
Written comments should state that they relate to the activities of the 
29th Session of the CAC.

Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy 
development is important. Consequently, in an effort to ensure that 
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/2006_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 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 and other 
individuals who have asked to be included. The update is available on 
the FSIS Web page. Through the Listserv and Web page, FSIS is able to 
provide information to a much broader and 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://fsis.usda.gov/news_and_events/email_subscription/
 and allows FSIS-FAIM 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 June 2, 2006.
F. Edward Scarbrough,
U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
[FR Doc. 06-5172 Filed 6-2-06; 11:47 am]

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