Constituent Update - August 3, 2018
USDA Invites Comments on the Implementation of the e-Connectivity Pilot Program
FSIS is making its stakeholders aware that USDA is accepting comments on the implementation of the e-Connectivity pilot program established in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 on March 23, 2018.
USDA is developing this pilot program to catalyze private investment and bring broadband to unserved rural areas of the country. The new program provides a unique opportunity to develop modern methods to leverage federal funds to increase private investment in broadband services for as many rural American homes, businesses, farms, schools and health care facilities as possible.
USDA is seeking input as it develops the rules and requirements of the e-Connectivity pilot program. Comments are due on or before 5 p.m. ET on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018 and can be submitted by either of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking portal: Go to www.regulations.gov and, in the lower “Search Regulations and Federal Actions” box, select “Rural Utilities Service” from the agency drop-down menu, then click “Submit.” In the Docket ID column, select RUS-18-TELECOM-0004 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.
Postal mail/commercial delivery: Please send your comments to Michele Brooks, Rural Development Innovation Center, Regulations Team Lead, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Stop 1522, Room 1562, Washington, D.C., 20250. Please state that your comments refer to Docket No. RUS-18-TELECOM-0004.
For more information about pilot program, see USDA’s July 27, 2018, press release: https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2018/07/27/usda-invites-comments-implementation-e-connectivity-pilot-program.
FSIS Seeking Comments on the Organization for Competitive Markets Petition on “Product of USA” Labeling
On June 12, 2018, the Organization for Competitive Markets and the American Grassfed Association petitioned FSIS to change the “Product of U.S.A.” entry in the FSIS Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book. The second paragraph of the entry in the policy book states that labeling of meat or poultry products “may bear the phrase ‘Product of U.S.A.’ … [i]f the product is processed in the United States.”
The petition requests that FSIS change the second paragraph to state that “products may bear the phrase ‘Product of U.S.A.’ …[i]f it can be determined that significant ingredients having a bearing on consumer preference, such as meat, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, etc., are of domestic origin (minor ingredients, such as spices or flavorings, are not included). In this case the labels should be approved with the understanding that such ingredients are of domestic origin.”
FSIS is seeking comments on the petition and anticipates that it will receive a significant number of comments. To facilitate submission and the public posting of comments, interested persons may submit comments online via the federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov; by mail including CD-ROMs sent to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Mailstop 3782, Room 6065, Washington, D.C. 20250-3700; or by hand or courier-delivery to 1400 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-3700. All comments submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the agency name and identification number FSIS-2018-0024.
Comments on this petition will be made available for public inspection and posted without change, including any personal information, to: http://www.regulations.gov. Comments on the petition should be submitted by August 17, 2017.
The petition is available on FSIS’ website at the following hyperlink: View petition here.
FSIS Posts Transcript and Recording of Trichinella Spiralis Webinar
FSIS has posted on its website the transcript and recording of the July 17 webinar that provided an overview of the final rule on eliminating prescriptive regulatory requirements for destroying Trichinella spiralis in ready-to-eat (RTE) and not-ready-to-eat (NRTE) pork products. The webinar also explained how establishments can address trichinae in their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems. To access the transcript and the webinar recording, visit: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/news-events/events-meetings.
FSIS notices and directives on public health and regulatory issues are available at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/policy/directives-notices. The following policy updates were recently issued:
Notice 39-2018 - Establishment Application for Export (FSIS FORM 9080-3)
Notice 40-2018 - Availability of updated Meat and Poultry Hazards and Controls Guide
FSIS Directive 9000.1 Rev. 2 - Export Certification
Export Requirements Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following countries:
- New Caledonia
- South Africa
- Trinidad & Tobago
- Western Samoa
For a complete list of countries, visit https://www.fsis.usda.gov/inspection/import-export.