AFIA foresees busy year for feed safety

15-01-2008 | |
AFIA foresees busy year for feed safety

According to AFIA vice president Richard Sellers the US government is facing a busy year with 15 food/feed safety bills that have been introduced in Congress.

Richard Sellers, vice president for feed regulation & nutrition of the
American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) outlines in Poultry Times  the difficult tasks US
government faces in 2008 regarding food and feed safety.

New import
controls

The food/feed safety bills deal with a myriad of new safety
authorities for the Food & Drug Administration, USDA and other agencies.
Definitions seem to be stumbling blocks for proper executions of the
bills.
Most of the bills provide some
new type of import controls (e.g. taxes, more inspection, limited ports of
entry, etc.), while others provide for mandatory recalls for federal food safety
agencies, mandatory reporting, increased fines and other “remedies.”

One
bill that was signed into law, the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act
of 2007 (FDAAA), contains 500 pages of human drug and medical device controls
and updates, but it also includes a short provision on food/feed/pet food
safety.

Quite a few definitions are unclear in this bill. FDA is to hold
a public meeting soon to begin collecting information for rulemaking on these
provisions. It has up to two years from Sept. 27, 2007, when the bill was signed
into law.

Time-tested system
Current FDA law allows ingredients
in food for animals to be either a drug or a food. The law provides for a
time-tested system to approve ingredients for use in feed either through:

  • a food
    additive petition process,

  • generally recognized as safe affirmation (including
    self-affirmation)

  • or an informal review process, such as the one the
    Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) provides.

It is unclear what regulations FDA is to provide for pet
food that will create “ingredient standards” that would be different than those
provided in current law.


AFIA’s input
valued
The good news about this new law is the sponsors of the original
bill in the Senate are interested in the AFIA’s amendments to “fix” or remedy
this onerous language. AFIA has been holding discussions with congressional
staff and drafting this new language.

“It’s clear this New Year will
bring new changes to the way we regulate feed, and there will be more government
regulation of feed and pet food industries. Hopefully, AFIA and others will have
a positive impact on this process to insure reasonable legislation is adopted
that has adequate protections for our industries”, Sellers said.

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