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AFIA discusses ingredient import safety

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) extended its leadership role in addressing the issue of ingredient import safety by conducting an industry-wide workshop in Chicago, Ill., Nov. 28-29, 2007.

Open to all companies in the feed and pet food industries, the National Dialog on Ingredient Import Safety was held in response to increasing concerns over international imports. Purpose of the meeting was to discuss an AFIA-prepared draft Guidance for the Industry that will be presented to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Critical elements
AFIA Vice President of Feed Regulation and Nutrition Richard Sellers organized and led the meeting. He provided an overview of AFIA's Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program, now into its fourth year. He emphasized three critical elements of the program: (1) hazard analysis; (2) product tracking and tracing; and (3) inspections. Sellers reported that AFIA is working with FDA on various aspects related to third-party certification and strongly supports the agency's move in that direction. Sellers also distributed the draft paper: AFIA's "Recommendations for Selecting Ingredient Suppliers and Products for Animal Food Production" which served as a working paper and centerpiece for the meeting. The guidance document is intended to provide FDA with ingredient safety issues and factors that it should present to the industry for consideration.

Focus on traceability
"The Chicago workshop provided excellent feedback and recommendations for moving ahead," Sellers said. "A united industry front will greatly facilitate efforts to enhance the safety of international imports and assist federal regulatory in dealing with that issue."

Another initiative in AFIA's attempts to further solidify the safety of feed and pet food products and ingredients focuses on traceability. AFIA has developed a Feed Trace and Track Connectivity Program which is an electronic program for the transfer and storage of uniform product sales and receipt information for future traceability. The program provides the feed industry with a unique, uniform and secure, cost-effective tool for compliance with governmental regulations.

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