21 USC 679a - Safe Meat and Poultry Inspection Panel

(a) Establishment 
There is established in the Department of Agriculture a permanent advisory panel to be known as the Safe Meat and Poultry Inspection Panel (referred to in this section as the panel).
(b) Duties 

(1) Review and evaluation 
The panel shall review and evaluate, as the panel considers necessary, the adequacy, necessity, safety, cost-effectiveness, and scientific merit of
(A) inspection procedures of, and work rules and worker relations involving Federal employees employed in, plants inspected under this chapter;

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(B) informal petitions or proposals for changes in inspection procedures, processes, and techniques of plants inspected under this chapter;
(C) formal changes in meat inspection regulations promulgated under this chapter, whether in notice, proposed, or final form; and
(D) such other matters as may be referred to the panel by the Secretary regarding the quality or effectiveness of a safe and cost-effective meat inspection system under this chapter.
(2) Reports 

(A) In general 
The panel shall submit to the Secretary a report on the results of each review and evaluation carried out under paragraph (1), including such recommendations as the panel considers appropriate.
(B) Reports on formal changes 
In the case of a report concerning a formal change in meat inspection regulations, the report shall be made within the time limits prescribed for formal comments on such changes.
(C) Publication in Federal Register 
Each report of the panel to the Secretary shall be published in the Federal Register.
(c) Secretarial response 
Not later than 90 days after the publication of a panel report under subsection (b)(2)(C) of this section, the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register any response required of the Secretary to the report.
(d) Composition of panel 
The panel shall be composed of 7 members, not fewer than 5 of whom shall be from the food science, meat science, or poultry science profession, appointed to staggered terms not to exceed 3 years by the Secretary from nominations received from the National Institutes of Health and the Federation of American Societies of Food Animal Science and based on the professional qualifications of the nominees.
(e) Nominations 


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(1) Initial panel 
In constituting the initial panel, the Secretary shall solicit 6 nominees from the National Institutes of Health and 6 nominees from the Federation of American Societies of Food Animal Science for membership on the panel.
(2) Vacancies 
Any subsequent vacancy on the panel shall be filled by the Secretary after soliciting 2 nominees from the National Institutes of Health and 2 nominees from the Federation of American Societies of Food Animal Science.
(3) Requirements for nominees 

(A) In general 
Each nominee provided under paragraph (1) or (2) shall have a background in public health issues and a scientific expertise in food, meat, or poultry science or in veterinary science.
(B) Submission of information 
The Secretary may require nominees to submit such information as the Secretary considers necessary prior to completing the selection process.
(4) Additional nominees 
If any list of nominees provided under paragraph (1) or (2) is unsatisfactory to the Secretary, the Secretary may request the nominating entities to submit an additional list of nominees.
(f) Travel expenses 
While away from the home or regular place of business of a member of the panel in the performance of services for the panel, the member shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at the same rate as a person employed intermittently in the Government service would be allowed under section 5703 of title 5.
(g) Conflicts of interest 
The Secretary shall promulgate regulations regarding conflicts of interest with respect to the members of the panel.
(h) Exemption 
The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) and title XVIII of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 2281 et seq.) shall not apply to the panel.
(i) Funding 
From funds available to the Secretary to carry out this chapter and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.), the Secretary shall allocate such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.