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Global Notebook
Renewed Commitment to TABD

The U.S. Administration and the European Commission has agreed on details for a renewed commitment to the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) as a key forum for government and industry discussions on transatlantic commercial matters. Meeting in Brussels, Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade Grant Aldonas, European Commission Director-General for Enterprise Jean-Paul Mingasson, and Deputy Director-General for Trade Pierre Defraigne underscored the need for government and industry cooperation to strengthen the transatlantic commercial relationship and bolster the two economies. U.S. Commerce Secretary Donald Evans and EU Commissioners Erkki Liikanen and Pascal Lamy have exchanged letters stating support for the TABD’s activities in 2003-2004. The TABD is likely to be “re-launched” at the time of the June 25 EU-US Summit in Washington, D.C.

Homeland Security Standards

The American National Standards Institute will hold the first plenary meeting of its Homeland Security Standards Panel (ANSI-HSSP) June 9-10. The panel was created to identify existing consensus standards, or, if none exists, assist the Department of Homeland Security and those sectors requesting assistance to accelerate development and adoption of consensus standards critical to homeland security. The panel will initially concentrate on 10 areas that have been identified as the most immediate standards needs by DHS — radiological/nuclear detectors; chemical/explosives sensors; anthrax detectors; modeling, simulation and analysis; decontamination standards; training for emergency responders; cyber security standards; interoperable communications; biometrics for entry/exit programs; and certification of equipment/personnel.

The panel’s structure will initially be comprised of four coordinating committees that provide forums to bring together representatives of a broad range of interested and affected constituencies to address specific needs. These four broader categories include certification and accreditation, critical infrastructure protection, security systems and countermeasures, and countermeasures for public health support.

New Education Focus on ARI Web Site

Instructors, technicians, students and parents, HVACR training schools, counselors and contractors interested in education and career recruitment information now have a Web site hosted by the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute where Internet surfers can access a treasure trove of useful materials. The site contains hundreds of pages of helpful information about education activities, including information about ARI’s career recruitment initiatives, including the opportunity for contractors and HVACR training schools to order a recruitment video, which can be used at “Career Days” or by schools to attract students to their programs, and more.

IFAN Leadership Transition

Veit Ghiladi has stepped down after four years (1998-2002) as president of the International Federation of Standards Users. He is succeeded as IFAN president by Neil Reeve, former vice president of IFAN (2001-2002) and technical standards manager at Shell Global Solution International. Ghiladi, who is senior manager of standardization at Daimler-Chrysler AG, will continue to participate in IFAN activities and sit on its board. IFAN is an independent, non-profit, international association of national organizations for the application of standards, companies, professional and trade associations, and government agencies, concerned with the use of standards. (Reprinted from the ANSI Reporter, Vol. 36, No. 2.)

NIST Peanut Butter Standard Spreads Quality When Used

Some people like peanut butter in sandwiches. Other people mix it in desserts or feed it to squirrels. Now there is a new use for peanut butter — as a quality assurance tool. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently issued Standard Reference Material (SRM) 2387, a peanut butter sample that has been characterized with state-of-the-art measurement methods to provide values for the amount of fat, protein, vitamins, minerals and other analytes it contains. It is one of a series of food-matrix SRMs that can be used by food manufacturers to validate production and quality control procedures as well as ensure accurate labeling of product content. For technical information on the certification of SRM 2387, contact Kathy Sharpless, NIST (phone: 301/975-3121). //

Copyright 2003, ASTM