For Federal, State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Officials
The following letter with 2 attachments was sent to the Secretaries, Commissioners and Directors of the State Departments of Health and Agriculture earlier this week requesting their nomination for representatives to the FDA - Federal, State and Local Partners National meeting (50 State meeting) in August in St. Louis, Missouri. We are providing you this courtesy copy so that you may have a discussion within your agency and programs about the meeting and the attendee from your program area. This will be a working meeting! The attendees will be expected to bring their expertise on state and local food and feed protection programs and apply it to the proposed implementation of the FDA Food Protection Plan and the three main focus of that plan: Prevention; Intervention and Response. While we will provide copies of the plan at the meeting, it is our intention that the attendees will have a good working knowledge of the plan and other documents prior to the opening of the meeting. Nominee's will be sent a CD with presentations, information and documents prior to the meeting as well as instructions from the USDA graduate school regarding hotel and travel arrangements. The attendee's hotel, perdiem and travel will be paid by the FDA. Other attendee's will include representatives from the following disciplines: Epidemiology, Laboratory, Local food protection and Animal Health as well as FDA, USDA and CDC.
Other documents such as the draft agenda, nomination form and this letter are available at the Division of Federal-State Relations internet site at:
If you need other information or clarification, please send an email to DFSR@FDA.HHS.GOV or contact: Richard Barnes or Cathy McDermott at 301-827-6906; or Pete Salsbury at 301-436-2118
Mailed on April 21, 2008
We are pleased to invite a high-level food and/or feed protection program representative from your department to attend an historic national meeting to address the challenges of ensuring food for all Americans is safe and secure. Your help is greatly needed to assist us in seeking and implementing new ways of working closely together at the federal, state and local level in the areas of food safety and food defense. The meeting will be held at the Drury Plaza Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri on August 12 – 14, 2008. We have chosen the theme "Gateway to Food Protection" for this meeting.
In November 2007 the FDA released a Food Protection Plan (FPP) (http://www.fda.gov/oc/initiatives/advance/food.html), which provides a new framework for identifying potential hazards and countering them before harm can occur. The FPP builds in safety measures across a product's life cycle, from the time a human food or animal feed is produced to the time it is distributed and consumed. The integrated approach of prevention, intervention and response that is described in the FPP will be successful only with the input and assistance from our state and local government partners.
This meeting is another major step in a long-term process of collaboration to achieve uniformity and consistency in food and feed safety across the nation while acknowledging our individual responsibilities and authorities. At the meeting, teams of federal, state and local officials will be asked to identify and develop a series of action items and recommendations to better coordinate and integrate our respective programs along the lines noted in the FPP - enhance their efficiency and effectiveness; improve communications and cooperation; increase the sharing of data and information at all levels of government; and improve the services we provide to our citizens. We want to build on several significant outcomes from the 50-state food safety meeting that was held in 1998 in Kansas City. Importantly, we plan on holding national food protection meetings in 2009 and 2010.
A draft meeting agenda is enclosed. I encourage you to discuss it and the FPP with your staff and colleagues so that you may identify the best person to attend and share your agency's thoughts and recommendations with all of us. We anticipate an audience of approximately 250, comprised of representatives of food and feed safety programs in all fifty states and territories, the District of Columbia, and several state-based food associations, as well as officials from the Food and Drug Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Due to the size of the meeting, we are limiting attendance to one person from your agency's food protection program. To have comparative and collaborative participants, we are asking that the nominee be at the program director/manager position or above and interested in participating in the workgroup process. Please have your representative complete the attached form and send it by May 2, 2008 to the FDA Division of Federal-State Relations by email: DFSR@FDA.HHS.GOV, FAX to 301-443-2143 or mailed to: Division of Federal-State Relations -50 State Meeting, 5600 Fishers Lane (HFC-150) Rm. 12-07, Rockville, MD 20857
Your host, the Food and Drug Administration, will provide travel arrangements, hotel reservations and per diem expenses for the selected invitee. We have contracted with the Graduate School, USDA to handle the administrative logistics. Your representative will hear from that office once we have received the completed form.
We look forward to a successful meeting in St. Louis.
David Acheson, M.D., FRCP