FDA takes new approach on feed safety

05-06-2008 | |

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US takes a more methodic approach to safety of animal feed. The Animal Feed Safety System will focus on risk assessment and preventive measures.

The FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine is developing a comprehensive Animal
Feed Safety System (AFSS) to help protect the health of companion animals,
production animals, and humans. A core concept of the AFSS is applying risk
assessment to contaminants in ingredients for animal feed, including pet

Gaps in the system
George Graber, PhD, a former CVM
official who organized the AFSS team and now serves as a consultant, said the
FDA’s existing programs to ensure safety of animal feed have focused on a few
specific issues such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy and medicated feeds.
“There are gaps in the system, so the FDA is trying to modernize and strengthen
it,” Dr. Graber said. “The agency is expanding the universe of firms,
operations, and people who are going to be impacted.”

Another core AFSS
concept is emphasizing preventive measures. Dr. Alfred Montgomery, CVM
counterterrorism coordinator, said veterinarians should be aware of the AFSS
because animal feed is a linchpin in the relationship between animal and human
health. “What threatens animal feed threatens the food chain and also companion
animals that are part of the family,” Dr. Montgomery said. “We need help from
the veterinary community as we move forward for guidance and assistance in
implementing this effort.”

The latest draft of the AFSS framework
includes six components that cover ingredients, contaminants, manufacturing,
reporting of unsafe feed, regulatory oversight, and education and

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