USDA wants one member of the committee to be affiliated with a consumer group and to "serve as a representative member to provide a consumer viewpoint."

FSIS Trying to Fill Advisory Committee Vacancies

Nominations to fill 12 slots on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods are being accepted until Aug. 9. Most members require scientific expertise in epidemiology, food technology, microbiology toxicology, chemistry, risk assessment, or infectious disease.

The Food Safety Inspection Service wants to fill 12 vacant seats on its National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) that resulted from a USDA change in the members' term limit. Appointees serving two-year terms are now eligible for two consecutive terms, not three.

FSIS previously sought nominations in August 2008 -- and anyone who applied need not send a new application, it said in the latest notice.

Members require scientific expertise in epidemiology, food technology, microbiology (food, clinical, and predictive), toxicology, chemistry, risk assessment, infectious disease, biostatistics, and other related sciences, the notice stated. They can work pretty much anywhere -- for the federal government, a state government agency, industry, consumer groups, or academia, and anyone else with the right expertise is also eligible. But USDA wants one member to be affiliated with a consumer group and to "serve as a representative member to provide a consumer viewpoint." This member won't have to possess a scientific background and will not be subjected to a conflict of interest review.

A resume and USDA Advisory Committee Membership Background Information form AD-755 are required by Aug. 9. The form and information are available at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/forms/doc/AD-755.pdf.

The 30-member committee was created in March 1988 based on a recommendation in a 1985 report of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Food Protection's Subcommittee on Microbiological Criteria. Current members of NACMCF are from organizations including Sara Lee Corp., USDA, FSIS, the National Marine Fisheries Service, FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and food science/research departments or veterinary/animal science departments at the University of Tennessee, Texas A&M University, Cornell University, University of California, Davis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Penn State University. The committee meets at least twice a year.

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