[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 89 (Monday, May 9, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 26655-26656]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office 
FR Doc No: 2011-11213]



Food Safety and Inspection Service

9 CFR Parts 300, 441, 530-534, 537, 539, 540, 541, 544, 548, 550, 
552, 555, 557, and 559-561

[Docket No. FSIS-2011-0010]

Public Meetings on the Proposed Rule for Mandatory Inspection of 
Catfish and Catfish Products

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of public meetings; request for comment.


SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing 
that it will hold two public meetings to receive comments on the 
proposed regulation to implement a program for mandatory inspection of 
catfish and catfish products (Docket No. FSIS-2008-0031), published 
February 24, 2011 in the Federal Register.

DATES: The first meeting will be held in Washington, DC, on May 24, 
2011; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. EDT, in the USDA Jefferson Auditorium (South 
Building), 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250. 
Attendees must provide a photo ID to enter the building. The Jefferson 
Auditorium is located at Wing 6 in the South Building. Attendees should 
enter the building via Wing 5 or 7 on 14th Street and Independence 
Avenue, SW.
    The second meeting will be held in Stoneville, Mississippi, on May 
26, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., in the Charles Capps Center at the Delta Research 
and Extension Center of the Mississippi State University. The Charles 
Capp Center is located at 82 Stoneville Road, Stoneville, MS 38776. The 
telephone contact number is (662) 686-3442.
    Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. local time at each location.
    Meeting times may be adjusted according to public participation and 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joan Lindenberger, Office of Public 
Affairs and Consumer Education, (202) 720-6755, or by e-mail at 
    Registration: Pre-registration for this meeting is recommended. To 
pre-register, access the FSIS Web site, at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News/Meetings_&_Events/. Select the meeting(s) you wish to attend and 
complete the registration form as requested. Persons requiring a sign 
language interpreter or other special accommodations should notify Ms. 
Lindenberger 15 business days prior to the meeting.
    Public Comment: Anyone wishing to make a public comment must 
indicate that preference during the registration process. In addition 
to these meetings, interested persons may submit comments on the 
proposed rule (76 FR 10434) on or before June 24, 2011, using either of 
the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
follow the online instructions at that site for submitting comments.
    Mail, including CD-ROMs, and hand- or courier-delivered items: Send 
to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and 
Inspection Service, Room 2-2127 George Washington Carver Center, 5601 
Sunnyside Avenue, Mailstop 5272, Beltsville, MD 20705-5272.
    Instructions: All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must 
include the Agency name and docket number FSIS--2008-0031. Comments 
received in response to this docket will be made available for public 
inspection and posted without change, including any personal 
information, to: http://www.regulations.gov.
    Docket: For access to background documents or comments received, go 
to the FSIS Docket Room at the address listed above between 8:30 a.m. 
and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.


I. Background

    U.S. catfish processors, exporters, and importers are currently 
subject to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Hazard 
Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations for seafood (9 
CFR part 123), including catfish, and to other requirements under the 
Food, Drug and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act (21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.). The 
National Marine Fisheries Service conducts voluntary, fee-for-service 
inspection and certification programs for catfish under provisions of 
the Agricultural Marketing Act (7 U.S.C. 1622, 1624) and regulations 
implementing that Act (50 CFR part 260).
    The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246, 
Sec.  10016(b)), known as the 2008 Farm Bill, amended the Federal Meat 
Inspection Act (FMIA) to provide that ``catfish, as defined by the 
Secretary,'' is a species amenable to the FMIA (21 U.S.C. 601 (w)(2)) 
and amended the FMIA in other ways to provide for catfish inspection. 
FSIS, the Agency that administers the FMIA, has proposed regulations to 
implement the Farm Bill amendments of the FMIA that require inspection 
of catfish and catfish

[[Page 26656]]

products. The proposed regulations cover such subjects as preharvest 
and transportation, facilities and sanitation, requirements for 
Sanitation Standard Operation Procedures and HACCP plans, handling and 
disposal of condemned and inedible materials, product labeling, food 
ingredients and preparation of products, records required to be kept, 
and export and import requirements.
    Under the proposed regulations, catfish and catfish products 
imported into the United States would have to come from countries that 
FSIS has determined to operate systems of inspection equivalent to that 
of FSIS and from establishments certified by the foreign inspection 
system as complying with FSIS requirements. Upon arrival at United 
States points of entry, the catfish and catfish products would be 
subject to re-inspection before entry into this country.
    The proposed rule provides for a transition period during which 
domestic and international operations would come into compliance with 
the catfish inspection program. Comments are requested regarding the 
transition phases and their duration. FSIS plans to announce in the 
final rule the implementation dates for each transition phase.
    In addition, FSIS is soliciting comments on the scope of the 
proposed regulations and, in particular, whether to define catfish as 
members of the order Siluriformes or to limit the definition to members 
of the family Ictaluridae.

II. Purpose of the Meeting and Agenda

    The purpose of the public meeting is to provide the public with an 
opportunity to comment on the proposed rule. Meeting times at each 
location may be adjusted according to public participation and 
    The agenda and other documents related to the meetings will be made 
available for viewing prior to the meeting at the FSIS Web site: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News/Meetings_&_Events/. The proposed rule is 
available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FRPubs/2008-0031.pdf. 
The preliminary regulatory impact analysis, the risk assessment, 
reports on analysis of catfish samples for residues, and links to other 
documents are can be found at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/Proposed_Rules/index.asp

III. Transcripts

    As soon as the meeting transcripts are available, they will be 
accessible on the FSIS Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News/Meetings_&_Events/. The transcripts may also be viewed at the FSIS 
Docket Room, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection 
Service, Room 2-2127 George Washington Carver Center, 5601 Sunnyside 
Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

    USDA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on 
the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, 
disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or 
family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)
    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for 
communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, 
etc.) should contact USDA's Target Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and 
    To file a written complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Office 
of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, 
SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TTY). 
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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 online 
through the FSIS Web site: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/Federal_Register_Notices/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, 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 delivered to 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 site. Through Listserv and 
the Web site, 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 accounts.

    Done, at Washington, DC, on May 4, 2011.
Alfred V. Almanza,
[FR Doc. 2011-11213 Filed 5-4-11; 4:15 pm]