[Federal Register: August 18, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 160)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Food Safety and Inspection Service
[Docket No. FSIS-2008-0029]
National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection
AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.
ACTION: Notice of public meeting.
SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing,
pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, that
the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI)
will hold a public meeting on August 27-28, 2008, to review and discuss
international equivalence and the approach to verifying the equivalence
of foreign food regulatory systems as the means of ensuring the safety
of imported food products. The meeting will include discussion of four
major perspectives. First, a U.S. government perspective will be
presented on the FSIS strategy and the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) approach. Second, an industry perspective will be presented.
Third, a consumer approach will be presented, and finally, the
approaches by several foreign governments will be presented and
All issues will be presented to the full Committee. The Committee
will then divide into two subcommittees to discuss the issues. Each
subcommittee will provide a report of their comments and
recommendations to the full Committee before the meeting concludes on
August 28, 2008.
DATES: The Committee will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, August
27, 2008, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Thursday, August 28, 2008, from
8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The subcommittees will hold open meetings during
their deliberations and report preparation.
ADDRESSES: The meetings will take place at the South Building
Cafeteria, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 14th & Independence
Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250. Non-USDA employees must enter
through wing 2, located on 12th and C Street, SW. The meeting agenda is
available on the Internet at the NACMPI Web site, http://
The NACMPI meeting agenda, together with information and resource
materials on public health-based inspection, is also available on the
Internet at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/Public_Health_Based_Inspection/index.asp.
FSIS welcomes comments through September 29 on the topics discussed
at the NACMPI public meeting. Comments may be submitted by any of the
Electronic mail: NACMPI@fsis.usda.gov.
Mail, including floppy disks or CD-ROMs: Send to National
Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection, USDA, FSIS, 14th &
Independence Avenue, SW., Room 1180, South Building, Washington, DC
Hand- or courier-delivered items: Deliver to Faye Smith at
14th & Independence Avenue, SW., Room 1180-S, Washington, DC. To
deliver these items, the building security guard must first call (202)
Facsimile: Send to Faye Smith, (202) 720-5704. All
submissions received must include the Agency name and docket number
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Contact Keith Payne for technical information
at (202) 690-6522, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and Faye Smith
for meeting information at (202) 720-9113, Fax (202) 720-5704, or e-
mail email@example.com. Persons requiring a sign language
interpreter or other special accommodations should notify Faye Smith at
the numbers above or by e-mail.
The NACMPI provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of
Agriculture pertaining to the Federal and State meat and poultry
inspection programs, pursuant to sections 7(c), 24, 205, 301(a)(3),
301(a)(4), and 301(c) of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C.
607(c), 624, 645, 661(a)(3), 661(a)(4), and 661(c)) and sections
5(a)(3), 5(a)(4), 5(c), 8(b), and 11(e) of the Poultry Products
Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 454(a)(3), 454(a)(4), 454(c), 457(b), and
The Administrator of FSIS is the chairperson of the Committee.
Membership of the Committee is drawn from representatives of consumer
groups; producers, processors, and marketers from the meat, poultry and
egg product industries; State and local government officials; and
academia. The current members of the NACMPI are: Ms. Kibbe M. Conti,
Northern Plains Nutrition Consulting, Rapid City, SD; Mr. Brian R.
Covington, Keystone Foods LLC, West Conshohocken, PA; Dr. Catherine N.
Cutter, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA; Dr. James
S. Dickson, Iowa State University, Ames, IA; Mr. Kevin M. Elfering,
Albuquerque, NM; Mr. Mike W. Finnegan, Montana Meat & Poultry
Inspection Bureau, Helena, MT; Ms. Carol Tucker Foreman, Consumer
Federation of America, Chevy Chase, MD; Dr. Andrea L. Grondahl, North
Dakota Department of Agriculture, Bismarck, ND; Dr. Joseph J. Harris,
Southwest Meat Association, Bryan, TX; Dr. Craig W. Henry, Food
Products Association, Washington, DC; Ms. Cheryl D. Jones, Morehouse
School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA; Mr. Michael E. Kowalcyk, DunnhumbyUSA
LLC, Cincinnati, OH; Dr. Shelton E. Murinda, California State
Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA; Dr. Edna Negron-Bravo, University
of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, PR; Dr. Michael L. Rybolt, National Turkey
Federation, Washington, DC; Mr. Mark P. Schad, Schad Meats, Inc.,
Cincinnati, OH; and Dr. Stanley A.
Stromberg, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry,
Oklahoma City, OK.
The Committee will review materials and provide comments and
recommendations concerning FSIS's approach for verifying equivalence of
foreign inspection systems. This system consists of (1) determining
equivalence of laws, regulations, and government controls, (2) audits
of foreign inspection systems, and (3) port-of-entry (POE) reinspection
of imported product.
Under the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products
Inspection Act, equivalence is the foundation for imports and has
become a condition of trade between two countries. Equivalence
recognizes that an exporting country can provide an appropriate level
of food safety and public health protection, even if their sanitary
measures are different from those applied by the U.S. Once a country is
determined to have a system equivalent to the U.S., that country is
then responsible for maintaining the entire system's equivalence while
exporting to the U.S. FSIS verifies that the country maintains
equivalence through audits of foreign inspection systems. These audits
include on-site visits by FSIS personnel of certified establishments
and approved laboratories, and FSIS review of government controls. The
final audit reports of these countries are posted on the FSIS Web site.
Finally, the last part of verifying the continuing equivalence of
foreign systems is through re-inspection of products at the U.S.
border. Every shipment of meat, poultry, or egg products that enters
the U.S. must be presented to an FSIS inspector at one of the
approximately 140 official FSIS import establishments strategically
located at major ocean ports of entry and land border crossings. It is
here that the initial checks for proper documentation, transportation
damage, and proper labeling are conducted. In addition to the initial
re-inspection of product entering the U.S., FSIS performs random re-
inspection on approximately 10 percent of the shipments of meat,
poultry, and egg products. These re-inspection tasks include, for
example, product examinations, microbiological analysis for pathogens,
and/or a test for chemical residues. Acceptable products or the
documents are marked as ``Inspected and Passed'' and the product is
released into commerce. Non-compliant products are rejected, marked as
``Refused Entry,'' and either destroyed or exported from the U.S. More
intensive re-inspection is automatically applied to future shipments of
product from the foreign establishment that produced the product that
If a country does not implement an FSIS requirement or equivalent
sanitary measure, or fails an audit, or POE re-inspection identifies
serious problems, FSIS can, and has in the past, suspend imports from
that country or individual plants within the country, or suspend
specific products from the country.
All interested parties are welcome to attend the meetings and to
submit written comments and suggestions concerning issues the Committee
will review and discuss. The comments and the official transcript of
the meeting, when they become available, will be kept in the FSIS
Docket Room, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection
Service, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 2534, South Building,
Washington, DC 20250, and posted on the Agency's NACMPI Web site,
Members of the public will be required to register before entering
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/
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, 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,
export information, 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 August 12, 2008.
Alfred V. Almanza,
[FR Doc. E8-19041 Filed 8-13-08; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P