September 5, 1997
Thomas J. Billy, Administrator
Food Safety & Inspection Service
United States Department of Agriculture
Washington, DC 20250
Dear Mr. Billy:
Thank you for your August 11, 1997 letter about how you see the Advisory Committee working. It sounds like an ambitious agenda. Iím pleased to be a member and to contribute based on my industry experience and knowledge.
Having served on this committee previously, and attended meetings even when not a member, Iíd like to offer some suggestions. First, I hope you will follow through on your commitment to invite contributing input from the members; too often this committee has simply been an audience for staff updates. The members of the committee are, without exception, highly knowledgable individuals in their respective fields; their interaction and input to the huge issues that are ahead should be valuable in guiding the future of the inspection system and services.
I strongly urge that the Committee be briefed on the Departmentís handling of the Hudson Recall and an opportunity for questions. This is a matter of great impact and great current interest. There are many concerns, not the least of which is the position taken by the Secretary himself in his public statements.
I would hope that the committee could endorse the utilization and distribution of the HACCP models quickly; we are not a technical committee, and if there is work to be done of a technical nature it should be done by the Microbiological Criteria Advisory Committee. Inspection Resource Management in an HACCP Environment is important for the future; I would hope that we would be provided with some sub-categories for discussion and recommendations after appropriate briefing.
I look forward to seeing you next week.
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