Meetings Scheduled on Interstate Meat Shipments

US - Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan has announced public meetings on the proposed regulations on co-operative inspection programmes on the inter-state shipment of meat and poultry products.
calendar icon 21 October 2009
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Agriculture Deputy Secretary, Kathleen Merrigan, has announced that the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is holding two public meetings on proposed regulations to implement a new programme under which State-inspected establishments with 25 or fewer employees will be eligible to ship meat and poultry products in interstate commerce. The announcement will implement a directive of the 2008 Farm Bill and is one component of USDA's 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' initiative to help develop local and regional food systems and spur economic opportunity.

"Restoring the link between consumers and local producers will not only open new income opportunities for small farmers and generate wealth that will stay in rural communities, it will also expand access to healthy, fresh, and locally produced food.," said Ms Merrigan. "These meetings will help ensure that the proposed regulations successfully open doors for small meat and poultry establishments to provide safe products to their communities."

The meetings will be held by teleconference and will provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the proposed rule published on 15 September 2009. The first teleconference will be held on 27 October 2009, from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm EDT and the second will be held on 5 November 2009, from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm EST.

Pre-registration is required to participate in these meetings. Information about the meetings, including how to register and the agenda will be made available for viewing on the FSIS web site. Call-in information will be provided via e-mail to pre-registered participants.

Comments on this voluntary cooperative programme may also be submitted on or before 16 November 2009, using either the Federal eRulemaking Portal or by mail. Send any mail to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Room 2-2127 Goerge Washington Carver Center, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705, MAILSTOP 5272. All comments must identify FSIS and the docket number FSIS-2008-0027. Comments will be available for viewing online [click here].

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