ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, USA – On November 17, the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) urged the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) to keep pace with advances in animal nutrition by modernizing its regulatory policy that currently limits food ingredients with environmental or production claims from being brought to market in a timely manner.
The AFIA submitted formal comments to the agency in response to its federal filing (FDA-2022-N-2015), stating that these products should be regulated as animal feed, not drugs, and that the agency has the authority to make this change.
In submitting the letter to CVM, Constance Cullman, President and CEO of AFIA, issued the following statement:
“The FDA has long been waiting to allow American farmers, ranchers and pet owners access to new pet food products with claims of environmental, production, welfare benefits animal health and pre-harvest food safety, which is essential to improve animal health, drive innovation and compete in a global marketplace.
“If we really want to help the United States achieve its ambitious goals 2030 methane reduction targets 30% below 2020 levels, these products must go through the CVM review process by 2024, so they can be approved and make a difference on farms by that date. Time is running out and the time has come to solve this problem.
The AFIA letter outlines several points for the CVM to consider, including:
Foods of animal origin with certain environmental claims are a key element in the fight against global climate change.
Feed ingredients known to be effective in reducing enteric methane emissions in cattle cannot be sold with commercial methane reduction claims in the United States due to current GVC policy, while farmers and ranchers around the world can knowingly and legally use them for their environmental benefits, putting American farmers at a competitive disadvantage. In addition, the European Food Safety Authority recognizes food ingredients of animal origin as an important group of pre-harvest food safety measures for all types of livestock and poultry. Many administration officials, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, congressional leaders and animal industry players have called on the CVM to modernize its outdated approach so these products can be marketed with accurate claims. on the labels.
The current policy of CVM is difficult and narrow.
AFIA members regularly develop new pet food ingredients that go beyond the typical taste, aroma and nutritional value historically associated with pet foods, and they develop breakthrough solutions that act only on or in the digestive tract of animals. However, current CVM policy requires these products to be regulated as animal drugs instead of food ingredients, a costly and time-consuming process, when these products are clearly food ingredients and should be regulated as such. The AFIA said its members have products approved in dozens of other countries that they can’t or won’t submit for FDA review because of its narrow policy interpretations.
The CVM has the means to make this change.
AFIA urges CVM to adopt a modernized, science-based policy that utilizes the Food Additive Petition, the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) Process, and the Association of American Feed Control Officials Ingredient Definition Pathways to support industry innovation in safe animal feed. ingredients that will address existing and emerging issues in the production, use and legally compliant labeling of animal feed. The AFIA said it is confident that this can be accomplished using these existing regulatory pathways and that the CVM has the existing statutory authority to regulate food ingredients of animal origin that work in the gastrointestinal tract and offer public and environmental health benefits or promote animal growth, feed efficiency and welfare. -be like pet food instead of medicine, as current policy dictates.