Jan 16, 2003 (CIDRAP News) Ð The Food and DrugAdministration will hold a public meeting, broadcast via satellite link, Jan 29to discuss proposed rules to help prevent deliberate contamination of foodssold in the United States.
The rules will require food establishments to register withthe government and give the FDA advance notice of food imports. The purpose ofthe meeting is to explain the proposed regulations to the public and give thepublic a chance to comment or ask questions, according to an FDA notice in the FederalRegister.
The FDA said it developed the rules to implement portions ofthe Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002,passed last June.
The meeting is scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. EST on Jan 29. Thebroadcast can be viewed at facilities in Buffalo, N.Y.; Chicago; Kirkland,Wash.; Houston; Laredo, Tex.; and College Park, Md. Details on the locationsand contacts for more information on each are listed on the FDA Web site and inthe Federal Register notice (see linksbelow). Space at each viewing site is limited, and those interested in viewingthe meeting must register in advance with the contact person for the site.
People can submit questions for the meeting in advance bycontacting Louis J. Carson, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA,5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740; telephone 301-436-2130; fax301-436-2605; e-mail Louis.Carson@cfsan.fda.gov.
The FDA notice also lists coordinates that those who have asatellite dish can use to access the broadcast. The agency plans to makewritten transcripts of the meeting available on its Web site 3 weeks afterward.
Section 305 of the 2002 bioterrorism law requires foodmanufacturing, packing, and processing facilities to register with the FDA byDec 12, 2003, according to the FDA. Farms, restaurants, retail food stores, andnonprofit food services are exempt from the requirement. In addition, Section307 of the law requires that food importers start notifying the FDA of importsby Dec 12, 2003.
Federal Registernotice of the meeting