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HRpt 106-948 CONFERENCE REPORT to accompany H.R. 4461 MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR AGRICULTURE RURAL DEVELOPMENT, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES PROGRAMS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2001 AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
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FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE
The conference agreement provides $696,704,000 for the Food Safety and Inspection Service instead of $673,790,000 as proposed by the House and $678,011,000 as proposed by the Senate.
The conference agreement includes $591,258,000 for federal food inspection.
The conference agreement includes $6,000,000 to be used to the extent approved by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to liquidate obligations incurred in previous years that violated the Antideficiency Act. The conferees expect the agency to take appropriate action to avoid violations of the Antideficiency Act from occurring again.
The conference agreement does not adopt Senate bill language providing that the appropriation shall not be available for shell egg surveillance under the Egg Products Inspection Act.
The conferees direct the agency to provide $500,000 to the National Research Council for an evaluation, at the earliest date practicable, by the National Research Council of the role of scientifically determined criteria, including microbiological criteria, in the production and regulation of meat and poultry products and a report, including recommendations to the Secretary, to be prepared by the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods, no later that March 1, 2001, regarding microbiological performance standards, including the role of such standards as a means of assuring meat and poultry product safety, as well as such other considerations as the Committee deems appropriate. These activities should in no way delay the implementation of the HACCP inspection system or other food safety activities.
The conferees direct the agency to continue to provide the Quarterly Report on Budget Execution and Staffing to the Committees on Appropriations.
The conference agreement does not include language under this heading which permits FSIS to expend funds appropriated for FY 2001 to liquidate overobligations and overexpenditures incurred in previous fiscal years as proposed by the House.
The conferees note that the conference agreement provides for all mandatory pay cost increases and the full amount requested for the FSIS portion of the Food Safety Initiative.
The conference agreement includes full funding for inspection costs and activities and $2,039,000 for activities related to the Codex Alimentarius. The conferees note increased responsibilities for the agency regarding participation in the Codex Alimentarius. The conference agreement provides for not to exceed $50,000 for representational expenses associated with Codex activities.
The conferees direct a report by March 1, 2001 on meat and poultry inspection regulations in place prior to publication of the Pathogen Reduction HACCP Rule.
Furthermore, the conferees, in supporting food safety regulations based upon the best available science, recognize the importance of the National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria for Foods´ (NACMF) chartered mission of providing impartial, scientific advice to Federal agencies on food safety matters. The conferees, therefore, direct that as part of Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture´s ongoing rechartering of the NACMF, the Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of Health and Human Services shall: (1) appoint a number of members consistent with scientific advisory committees utilized by agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; (2) adhere strictly to applicable Federal conflict-of-interest requirements for Federal advisory committee membership; (3) report to the Committee on Appropriations and Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the U.S. Senate, the Committee on Appropriations and Committee on Agriculture in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services on any conflicts of interest of NACMF members involved in making recommendations to federal agencies, whether waived under applicable Federal law or not, and what those conflicts are.