Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Milk and Milk Products
The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), USDA, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), are sponsoring a public meeting on March 14, 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 Seventh Session of the Codex Committee on Milk and Milk Products (CCMMP) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), which will be held in Queenstown, New Zealand, March 27-April 1, 2006. The Under Secretary for Food Safety, AMS and FDA recognize the importance of providing interested parties the opportunity to obtain background information on the 7th Session of CCMMP and to address items on the agenda.
Accredited Laboratory Program
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing to revise, edit, and consolidate provisions of the standards and procedures for the accreditation of non-Federal analytical chemistry laboratories. Laboratories in the Accredited Laboratory Program (ALP) are accredited to analyze official meat and poultry samples for specific chemical residues or classes of chemical residues, and moisture, protein, fat, and salt. In particular, FSIS is proposing to amend its current regulations regarding the accreditation of non- Federal analytical chemistry laboratories to accommodate the adoption of newer methods for analyzing chemical residues and to correct some data. In addition, FSIS is proposing to make editorial changes to its accredited laboratory regulations to reflect Agency reorganizations and program changes and to improve the clarity and consistency of application for all laboratories participating in the ALP. Finally, FSIS is proposing to consolidate the accredited laboratory regulations from 9 CFR Part 318.21 of the meat inspection regulations and 9 CFR Part 381.153 of the poultry products inspection regulations into a single new part, 9 CFR Part 439, that is applicable to both meat and poultry establishments. Along with the consolidation, redundancies within the regulations have been reduced, with the net result being a more succinct set of regulations.
Changes in Fees for Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products Inspection Services-Fiscal Years 2006-2008
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is changing the fees that it charges meat and poultry establishments, egg products plants, importers, and exporters for providing voluntary inspection, identification, and certification services; overtime and holiday inspection services; and laboratory services. The Agency is raising these fees to reflect, among other factors, national and locality pay increases for Federal employees and inflation. In the past, FSIS has amended its regulations on an annual basis. With this regulation, FSIS is providing for three annual fee increases. This will provide the meat, poultry, and egg industries with more timely cost information. The Agency is also increasing the annual fee for its Accredited Laboratory Program.
Petitions for Rulemaking
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing to adopt regulations governing the submission to FSIS of petitions for rulemaking. The Agency is proposing this action to supplement existing non-regulatory guidance on the submission of petitions to FSIS to consider requests to issue, amend, or repeal regulations administered by the Agency. FSIS expects that this proposed rule, if adopted, will help to ensure the filing of well-supported petitions that contain the information necessary to proceed with consideration of the requested rulemaking in a timely manner.
Food Labeling; Nutrient Content Claims, Definition of the Term: “Healthy”
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing that its regulations will continue to provide that individual meat and poultry products bearing the claim ``healthy'' (or any other derivative of the term ``health'') must contain no more than 480 milligrams (mg) of sodium; and that meal-type products bearing the claim ``healthy'' (or any other derivative of the term ``health'') must contain no more than 600 mg of sodium. FSIS is deferring indefinitely, until further notice, implementation of the requirements that individual meat and poultry products bearing the claim ``healthy'' (or any other derivative of the term ``health'') contain no more than 360 milligrams (mg) of sodium and that meal-type products bearing the claim ``healthy'' (or any other derivative of the term ``health'') contain no more than 480 mg of sodium.