The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is holding a public meeting to provide information and receive comments on agenda items, as well as to draft U.S. positions to be discussed at the 19th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS).

The CCFICS will meet in Cairns, Australia from Oct. 17 through Oct. 21.

The public meeting will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 4 in the South Building at the Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 1160-S, Washington, D.C. 20520.

Items to be discussed include:

— Improving import and export procedures when dealing with the international food trade

— Ensuring global food safety as it relates to trade

— Developing guidelines and criteria for international trade and food safety

— Making recommendations to improve information exchange in relation to food import/export control

Documents and agenda items related to the 19th Session of the CCFICS will be accessible at the Codex Web site at

Codex was established in 1963 by two United Nations organizations (the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization). Through 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.

For more information, or to submit written comments, contact Mary Stanley, Director, International Policy Division, Office of Policy and Program Development, FSIS, USDA, South Agriculture Building, Room 2925, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington D.C. 20250; telephone: 202-720-0287, fax: 202-720-4929 or email: