Regulate ingredients as feeds, not drugs: US feed industry association urges FDA

USA – The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has urged the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) to regulate feed ingredients as feeds and not drugs as it is the case.

In its submission to the agency, the association noted that the current framework lengthens the time feed ingredients with environmental or production claims from make to market.

“The FDA is long overdue in allowing U.S. farmers, ranchers, and pet owners to access novel animal food products with environmental, production, animal well-being and pre-harvest food safety benefits claims,” AFIA’s President and CEO Constance Cullman said.

He noted that a change in the regulatory framework is central to improving the health of animals, incentivizing innovation, and competing in a global marketplace.

“If we are serious about helping the United States meet its ambitious 2030 methane reduction goals of 30% below 2020 levels, then these products need to be in the CVM’s review process by 2024 so that they can be approved and make a difference on farms by that deadline,” Cullman added.

Currently, feed ingredients with known efficacy to reduce enteric methane emissions in cattle cannot be sold with marketing claims for methane reduction in the United States due to the existing CVM policy.

This puts US farmers and ranchers at a disadvantage as their peers around the world can knowingly and legally use them for their environmental benefits.

In addition, the European Food Safety Authority recognizes that animal food ingredients constitute an important group of pre-harvest food safety measures across all livestock and poultry types.

AFIA further noted that the current CVM policy is challenging and narrow making many of AFIA members unable or unwilling to submit their functional feed ingredients for review at the FDA.

Ironically, the same producers have products with functionality beyond the typical taste, aroma and nutritive value historically associated with animal food approved in dozens of other countries.

According to AFIA, the CVM has existing statutory authority to make this change to allow U.S. farmers, ranchers and pet owners to access novel animal food products with environmental, production, animal well-being and pre-harvest food safety benefits claims

Instead of current rigidness, AFIA has asked CVM to adopt a modernized, science-based policy that utilizes the food additive petition, the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) process and Association of American Feed Control Officials’ ingredient definition pathways to support industry innovation in safe animal food ingredients.

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