The National Grain and Feed Association has been working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to tweak the animal feed rules associated with the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act. As part of the Act, FDA is proposing new rules for the current good manufacturing practices and hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls used.
In a press statement, NGFA notes that the FDA's proposed rules were commented on, and then reproposed on Sept. 29 with changes. NGFA has commented extensively on the issue and continues to express concerns that FDA wants to regulate animal feed and pet food as if it is human food. As Max Fisher, NGFA director of economics and government relations, notes the agency remains concerned that "many of the proposed [current good manufacturing practices] provisions continue to mirror those established for human food, and do not reflect the realities associated with feeding animals, nor are they necessary to assure the safety of feed products."
Fisher had commended the agency for reproposing the rule and allowing added comment.
"The NGFA requests that FDA carefully consider the economic impact of its proposed requirements and weigh the extensive costs against anticipated benefits, which the agency has yet to quantify," stated Fisher, while commenting on the costs associated with the proposed rule. The NGFA's economic analysis of FDA's original proposal indicated the requirements would cost animal feed and pet food facilities over $500 million annually - approximately four times more than estimated by FDA.
To do so, Fisher expressed NGFA's belief that the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance - consisting of members from FDA and state regulatory agencies, industry, academia and scientific organizations - provides the best forum to develop and convey necessary technical information to industry and regulatory officials for compliance purposes. The NGFA actively has served as an Alliance member since its inception in 2011, and David Fairfield, vice president of feed services, currently is chairman of the Alliance's animal feed-related activities.