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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Irradiation in the Production, Processing, and Handling of Food

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), Federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including an extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on the reporting and recordkeeping requirements for food irradiation processors.

DATES:

Submit written or electronic comments on the collection of information by February 25, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Submit electronic comments on the collection of information to http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/​scripts/​oc/​dockets/​edockethome.cfm. Submit written comments on the collection of information to the Dockets Management Branch (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane., rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. All comments should be identified with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Peggy Robbins, Office of Information Resources Management (HFA-250), Food and Drug Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, rm. 16B-26, Rockville, MD 20857, 301-827-1223.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

Irradiation in the Production, Processing, and Handling of Food—21 CFR Part 179 (OMB Control Number 0910-0186)—Extension

Under section 201(s) and 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the act) (21 U.S.C. 321(s) and 348), food irradiation is subject to regulation under the food additive premarket approval provisions of the act. The regulations providing for uses of irradiation in the production, processing, and handling of food are found in part 179 (21 CFR part 179). To assure safe use of a radiation source, § 179.21(b)(1) requires that the label of sources bear appropriate and accurate information identifying the source of radiation and the maximum energy of radiation emitted by x-ray tube sources. Section 179.21(b)(2)(i) requires that the label or accompanying labeling bear adequate directions for installation and use. Section 179.25(e) requires that food processors who treat food with radiation make and retain, for 1 year past the expected shelf life of the products up to a maximum of 3 years, specified records relating to the irradiation process (e.g., the food treated, lot identification, scheduled Start Printed Page 79127process, etc.). The records required by § 179.25(e) are used by FDA inspectors to assess compliance with the regulation that establishes limits within which radiation may be safely used to treat food. The agency cannot ensure safe use without a method to assess compliance with the dose limits, and there are no practicable methods for analyzing most foods to determine whether they have been treated with ionizing radiation and are within the limitations set forth in part 179. Records inspection is the only way to determine whether firms are complying with the regulations for treatment of foods with ionizing radiation

FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

Table 1.—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden1

21 CFR SectionNo. of RecordkeepersAnnual Frequency of RecordkeepingTotal Annual RecordsHours per RecordkeeperTotal Hours
179.25(e)61207201720
1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

The number of firms who process food using irradiation is extremely limited. FDA estimates that there are two irradiation plants whose business is devoted primarily (i.e., approximately 100 percent) to irradiation of food and other agricultural products. Four other firms also irradiate small quantities of food. FDA estimates that this irradiation accounts for no more than 10 percent of the business for each of these firms. Therefore, the average estimated burden is based on: Two facilities devoting 100 percent of their business (or 600 hours for recordkeeping annually) to food irradiation; four facilities devoting 10 percent of their business or 120 hours (4 x 30 hours) for recordkeeping annually to food irradiation.

No burden has been estimated for the labeling requirements in §§ 179.21(b)(2)(i) and (b)(2)(ii) and 179.26(c) because the information to be disclosed is information that has been supplied by FDA. Under 5 CFR 1320.3(c)(2), the public disclosure of information originally supplied by the Federal Government to the recipient for the purpose of disclosure to the public is not a collection of information.

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Dated: December 19, 2002.

Margaret M. Dotzel,

Assistant Commissioner for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 02-32662 Filed 12-26-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4160-01-S