News 396 views last update:6 Aug 2012

FDA: Final rule on using SRM in feed

A final regulation barring specified specifik risk material (SRM) from cattle 30 months of age and older from being included in animal feed, was issued Wednesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA said the final rule, which prohibits brain material and spinal cords from being included in feed, further protects animals and consumers against bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

"This FDA action serves to further protect the U.S. cattle population from the already low risk of BSE," said Dr. Bernadette Dunham, director of FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. "The new rule strengthens existing safeguards.''

These materials have the highest risk for carrying the agent thought to cause BSE. The entire carcass of cattle not inspected and passed for human consumption is also prohibited, unless the brains and spinal cords have been removed or the animals are less than 30 months old.

This regulation finalizes a proposed rule that the FDA issued for public comment in October 2005. The final rule is effective 12 months from today to allow the livestock, meat, rendering and feed industries time to adapt their practices to comply with the new regulation.

Under the new requirements, renderers processing cattle not inspected and passed for human consumption must provide FDA inspectors written protocols for determining the age of cattle and demonstrating the brain and spinal cords of cattle have been effectively removed.

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