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Notice

Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Food Labeling

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ACTION:

Notice of public meeting and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are sponsoring a public meeting on April 18, 2012. The objective of the public meeting is to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and draft United States (U.S) positions that will be discussed at the 40th Session of the Codex Committee on Food Labeling (CCFL) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), which will be held in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada from May 15-18, 2012. The Under Secretary for Food Safety and FDA recognize the importance of providing interested parties the opportunity to obtain background information on the 40th Session of the CCFL, and to address items on the agenda.

DATES:

The public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 18, 2012, from 1:00-3 p.m.

ADDRESSES:

The public meeting will be held at the Jamie L. Whitten Building, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 107-A, Washington, DC 20250.

Documents related to the 40th Session of the CCFL will be accessible via the World Wide Web at the following address: http://www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en/.

Barbara Schneeman, U.S. Delegate to the 40th Session of the CCFL, invites U.S. interested parties to submit their comments electronically to the following email address: Daniel.Reese@fda.hhs.gov.

Call-In Number:

If you wish to participate in the public meeting for the 40th Session of the CCFL by conference call, please use the call-in number and participant code listed below:

Call-in Number:

1-888-858-2144.

Participant code: 6208658.

For Further Information About the 40th Session of the CCFL Contact: Barbara Schneeman, Ph.D., Director, Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway (HFS-800), College Park, MD 20740, Telephone: (240) 402-2373, Fax: (301) 436-2636, Email: Barbara.Schneeman@fda.hhs.gov.

For Further Information About the Public Meeting Contact: Doreen Chen-Moulec, USCODEX Office, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 4861, Washington, DC 20250, Telephone: (202) 205-7760, Fax: (202) 720-3157, Email: uscodex@fsis.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Codex was established in 1963 by two United Nations organizations, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Through adoption of food standards, codes of practice, and other guidelines developed by its committees, and by promoting their adoption and implementation by governments, Codex seeks to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade.

The CCFL is responsible for:

(a) Drafting provisions on labeling applicable to all foods;

(b) considering, amending if necessary, and endorsing draft specific provisions on labeling prepared by the Codex Committees drafting standards, codes of practice and guidelines;

(c) studying specific labeling problems assigned to it by Codex; and

(d) studying problems associated with the advertisement of food with particular reference to claims and misleading descriptions.

The Committee is hosted by Canada.

Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meeting

The following items on the agenda for the 40th Session of the CCFL will be discussed during the public meeting:

  • Matters Referred to the Committee.
  • Consideration of Labeling Provisions in Draft Codex Standards.
  • Implementation of the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health.

(a) Proposed Draft Revision of the Guidelines for Use of Nutrition and Health Claims: Additional Conditions for Nutrient Content Claims and Comparative Claims.

(b) Draft Definition for Nutrient Reference Values for Inclusion in the Guidelines for Nutrition Labeling.

(c) Requirements for Mandatory Nutrition Labeling.

  • Guidelines for the Production, Processing, Labeling and Marketing of Organically Produced Foods.

(a) Inclusion of Ethylene for Other Products at Step 7; Use of Ethylene for the Ripening of Fruit.

(b) Inclusion of Spinosad, Copper Octanoate, and Potassium Bicarbonate.

(c) Use of Ethylene for Degreening of Citrus for Fruit Fly Prevention, as a Flowering Agent for Pineapples and as a Sprouting Inhibitor for Onions and Potatoes.

(d) Organic Aquaculture.

(e) Structured Approach and Template.

  • Modified Standardized Common Names.
  • Other Business and Future Work.

Each issue listed will be fully described in documents distributed, or to be distributed, by the Secretariat prior to the meeting. Members of the public may access these documents (see ADDRESSES).

Public Meeting

At the April 18, 2012, public meeting, draft U.S. positions on the agenda items will be described and discussed, and attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions and offer comments. Written comments may be offered at the meeting or sent to the U.S. Delegate for the 40th session of the CCFL, Barbara Schneeman (see ADDRESSES). Written comments should state that they relate to activities of the 40th session of the CCFL.

Additional Public Notification

FSIS will announce this notice online through the FSIS Web page located at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/Federal_Register_Notices/index.asp.

FSIS will also 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 constituents and stakeholders. The Update is communicated via Listserv, a free electronic mail subscription service for industry, trade groups, consumer interest groups, health professionals, and other individuals who have asked to be included. The Update is also available on the FSIS Web page. In addition, FSIS offers an electronic 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_&_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.

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, or audiotape) should contact USDA's Target Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TTY).

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.

Done at Washington, DC on: April 3, 2012.

Karen Stuck,

U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.

[FR Doc. 2012-8505 Filed 4-6-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P