Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced September 15 that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has received a $250,000 per year grant that will run for five years from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to further enhance feed safety efforts.
"These funds will permit our department to test livestock feeds and pet food for Salmonella, E. coli, heavy metals and mycotoxins contamination as a part of FDA's food safety efforts," says Northey. "This will greatly expand the biological testing we are able to do and give us the opportunity to work with commercial feed mills to improve feed safety."
The Iowa department of ag submitted the application for the grant earlier this summer. Iowa is one of 12 states to receive funds through the Ruminant Feed Ban/Feed Safety Support Program Grant.
FDA is making funds available for testing to improve feed safety
This is the first year FDA has made funds available for this expanded testing. The Iowa ag department has been conducting bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) compliance inspections on behalf of FDA since 1997. Two years ago the Iowa ag department received a grant through the FDA's Ruminant Feed Ban program to expand its BSE testing. The new grant will allow the state ag department to expand the program further and initiate testing for other contaminants.
"Our department conducts a variety of feed testing with support from the FDA, and these funds will allow us to continue to expand our efforts to better protect animal feed and ultimately food safety," says Northey. The FDA awards grants to state and local regulatory agencies to boost food and feed safety initiatives among federal, state and local partners. The grants fund major cooperative agreements in four areas: response, intervention, innovation and prevention.