The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking comment on a proposal to establish new U.S. standards for grades of frozen onions.

The American Frozen Food Institute, a national trade association promoting and representing the interest of the frozen fruit and vegetable industry, requested that USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) develop grade standards for frozen onions.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported that U.S. production of onions was nearly 7.2 million pounds in 2010.

The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 directs and authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to develop and improve standards of quality, condition, quantity, grade and packaging and recommend and demonstrate such standards in order to encourage uniformity and consistency in commercial practices.

AMS works with industry representatives and others to establish and develop U.S. standards for nearly 240 agricultural products. Industry uses these standards in the marketplace to specify acceptable quality and/or condition of commodities. Standards facilitate commerce by providing a common language for trade and a means of measuring value in the marketing of agricultural products.

This notice will be published in the June 1, 2011, Federal Register. Written comments must be received by Aug. 1, 2011, and should be sent to Myron Betts, Processed Products Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, Stop 0247, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-0247, by fax to (202) 690-1527, or submitted electronically to www.regulations.gov.

An electronic version of this document can be obtained via the Web at http://www.usda.gov/ams/newsrel.htm.