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”).
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;
(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.
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.
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.
Each report of the panel to the Secretary shall be published in the Federal Register.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Secretary may require nominees to submit such information as the Secretary considers necessary prior to completing the selection process.
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.
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.
The Secretary shall promulgate regulations regarding conflicts of interest with respect to the members of the panel.
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.
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.
(Mar. 4, 1907, ch. 2907, title IV, §410, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title IX, §918(a)(1)(B), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1188.)
The Federal Advisory Committee Act, referred to in subsec. (h), is Pub. L. 92–463, Oct. 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 770, as amended, which is set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.
The Food and Agriculture Act of 1977, referred to in subsec. (h), is Pub. L. 95–113, Sept. 29, 1977, 91 Stat. 913, as amended. Title XVIII of the Act is classified generally to chapter 55A (§2281 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1977 Amendment note set out under section 1281 of Title 7 and Tables.
The Poultry Products Inspection Act, referred to in subsec. (i), is Pub. L. 85–172, Aug. 28, 1957, 71 Stat. 441, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 10 (§451 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 451 of this title and Tables.
A prior section 410 of act Mar. 4, 1907, was renumbered section 411, and is classified to section 680 of this title.