THE U.S. Food & Drug Administration released Dec. 20 the sixth rule pertaining to the Food Safety Modernization Act, according to the American Feed Industry Assn. (AFIA).
The proposed rule, "Focused Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food against Intentional Adulteration," would require registered domestic and foreign food facilities to address hazards that may be intentionally introduced by acts of terrorism.
Animal food is one of several exemptions listed by FDA in the proposed rule, AFIA said.
"It is our understanding that under FDA's risk-based approach, animal feed and pet food were given an exemption from this rule because of their significantly reduced risk of causing intentional harm to human health," Leah Wilkinson, AFIA director of ingredients, pet food and state affairs, said. "AFIA agrees with FDA's conclusion and will work with our members to provide comments on this proposed rule."
The intentional adulteration rule is expected to be published in the Dec. 24 Federal Register.
FDA plans to host a public meeting in regard to the rule on Feb. 20, 2014, in College Park, Md. Comments on the proposed rule are due by March 31, 2014.
Additionally, AFIA said it has submitted comments regarding two modernized regulatory framework proposals released by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA): one on feed ingredient assessment and authorization and the second on feed labeling. The proposals are two of four that CFIA is expected to release.
The modernization of Canada's "Feeds Regulations" — initiated in 2011 when CFIA began a systematic review of its regulatory framework for food safety, plant health and animal health — now will update regulatory frameworks to reduce overlap and redundancy, increase responsiveness to industry changes, address gaps, weaknesses and inconsistencies and provide clarity and flexibility to affected regulated parties, AFIA explained.
"There has been a general industry consensus that CFIA should update the feed regulatory framework as the regulations are considered outdated and behind the curve as it relates to international standards and practices," AFIA manager of international trade Gina Tumbarello said. "AFIA has participated in several industry stakeholder meetings with CFIA on the scope and requirements of a renewed feed regulatory framework for Canada. Canada's feed regulatory framework applies to the importation, manufacture and sale of livestock feeds in Canada."
Due to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the U.S. feed industry would be affected by both proposals, particularly the modernization of CFIA's feed labeling requirements specified in the Feeds Regulations, AFIA pointed out.
"As the current requirements stand, many U.S. feed and feed ingredient suppliers have difficulty entering the Canadian market," AFIA wrote in its comments. "AFIA supports CFIA's Feed Regulatory Renewal project; however, any final regulations must reduce the compliance burden for feed and feed ingredient suppliers exporting to Canada and support fair and competitive trade in the market as it is our joint obligation as signatories to NAFTA."
Tumbarello added that "AFIA believes it is important to institute a system that allows Canadians the accessibility to new and innovative feed and feed ingredients while encouraging the growth in trade between the countries. Without access to the American market, Canadians will lack the vital ability to develop and sustain their livestock and poultry industry."
CFIA plans to have further consultations on the two proposals in early 2014.