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Notice

Notice of the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture Meeting

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AGENCY:

Agricultural Research Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice of meeting.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. II the United States Department of Agriculture announces a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21).

DATES:

March 8-9, 2004, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Written request to make oral presentations at the meeting must be received by the contact person identified herein at least three business days before the meeting.

ADDRESSES:

Oasis Room at the Sphinx Club, 1315 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20005. Requests to make oral presentations at the meeting may be sent to the contact person at USDA, Office of the Deputy Secretary, 202 B Jamie L. Whitten Federal Building, 12th and Independence Avenues, SW., Washington, DC 20250.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michael Schechtman, Designated Federal Official, Office of the Deputy Secretary, USDA, Telephone (202) 720-3817; Fax (202) 690-4265; E-mail mschechtman@ars.usda.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The fourth meeting of the AC21 has been scheduled for March 8-9, 2004. The AC21 consists of 18 members representing the biotechnology industry, the seed industry, international plant genetics research, farmers, food manufacturers, commodity processors and shippers, environmental and consumer groups, and academic researchers. In addition, representatives from the Departments of Commerce, Health and Human Services, and State, and the Environmental Protection Agency, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative serve as “ex officio” members. The Committee meeting will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on each day. The AC21 at this meeting will continue its work to develop a report examining the impacts of agricultural biotechnology on American agriculture and USDA over the next 5 to 10 years, specifically: to review a draft report introduction prepared by USDA staff; to review the progress of two work groups, one on potential issues, concerns, and benefits, and one on scenario-setting; to provide guidance to work groups in adapting the information they have developed into chapters of the committee report; and to consider preliminary presentations and introductory discussions related to trends in public versus private biotechnology research and implications for public research. The AC21 will also discuss the progress of a work group drafting a separate report for the committee's consideration on the issue of the proliferation of traceability and mandatory labeling regimes for biotechnology-derived products in other countries, the implications of those regimes, and what industry is doing to attempt to address those requirements for products shipped to those countries.

Background information regarding the work of the AC21 will be available on the USDA Web site at http://www.usda.gov/​agencies/​biotech/​ac21.html. On March 8, 2004, if time permits, reasonable provision will be made for oral presentations of no more than five minutes each in duration.

The meeting will be open to the public, but space is limited. If you would like to attend the meetings, you must register by contacting Ms. Dianne Harmon at (202) 720-4074, by fax at (202) 720-3191 or by E-mail at dharmon@ars.usda.gov at least 5 days prior to the meeting. Please provide your name, title, business affiliation, address, telephone, and fax number when you register. If you require a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation due to disability, please indicate those needs at the time of registration.

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Edward B. Knipling,

Acting Administrator, ARS.

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[FR Doc. 04-3299 Filed 2-13-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-03-P