The Innovative FEED Act is aimed at de-regulating animal feed additives and encouraging innovation.

December 7, 2023

5 Min Read

Congressman Greg Pence (R-IN-06), Congressman Jim Baird (R-IN-04), Congresswoman Kim Schrier (D-WA-08), and Congresswoman Angie Craig (D-MN-02), along with the support of eight of their colleagues as co-sponsors, have introduced the Innovative Feed Enhancement and Economic Development Act of 2023 (Innovative FEED Act).

Since 1958, American farmers have benefited from the Food & Drug Administration’s safe and effective feed additives. However, since then, as a result of bureaucratic red tape, many animal feed additive products have gotten caught up in an expensive and long drug regulation process. The Innovative FEED Act de-regulates animal feed additives and spurs innovation by:

  • Creating a new category of animal feeds called “zootechnical animal food substances” and defining them as substances that only act within the GI tract of the animal to lower food pathogens, reduce byproducts for animals, or affect its gut microbiome.

  • Making it clear that zootechnical animal food substances would be regulated within FDA’s existing Food Additive Petition process for market approval, saving innovators time and money.

  • Providing farmers with more voluntary tools to help nourish their animals and support farmers’ profitability.

  • Leveling the playing field for American farmers and innovators.

“Animal feed additives improve both the health and productivity of livestock. Therefore, in order to remain competitive in the farming industry, it is critical that our nation’s farmers have access to these feed additives in a timely and affordable manner,” said Pence. “My legislation will ensure this access by reducing FDA review times of feed additives by several years, cutting bureaucratic red tape, and spurring innovation to place the product in the producers’ hands sooner. It is past-time for Congress to make these necessary changes, which many other countries have already made, and, as your representative, I promise to always stand up for Hoosier farmers in Congress.”

The Innovative FEED Act is supported by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), the National Milk Producers Federation, the Indiana Dairy Producers, the American Feed Industry Association, the National Grain & Feed Association, the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, and the Agricultural Retailers Association.

“NASDA supports the approach of the Innovative FEED Act to promote voluntary innovation and adoption of tools that producers can use to increase the efficiency of their livestock operations. Most state departments of agriculture inspect and regulate animal feed ingredients, which will include the new products covered under this legislation. This bipartisan legislation is important and timely to ensure that both producers, regulators, and the feed industry can work together to increase efficiency and innovation in a competitive market in a way that is safe for animals, producers, and consumers,” said NASDA CEO Ted McKinney.

“We thank Representatives Greg Pence, Kim Schrier, Jim Baird, and Angie Craig for introducing the Innovative FEED Act in the House of Representatives. This important measure would improve the Food and Drug Administration’s framework for approving animal feed ingredients. U.S. dairy farmers often to choose to use safe and effective feed additives on a voluntary basis as they further their global leadership as agricultural innovators. This bipartisan effort will boost them even further, and we look forward to working with the bill’s sponsors to enact it into law,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO, National Milk Producers Federation.

“Indiana dairy farmers seek to innovate every day as they work to provide households in the U.S. and around the world with a safe, affordable, and abundant supply of nutritious milk and dairy foods. We are grateful to Indiana Congressman Greg Pence for introducing the Innovative FEED Act, with support from fellow Indiana Congressman Jim Baird. This bill cuts regulatory red tape by creating an improved framework for the Food and Drug Administration to review and approve animal feed additives. It is important to get these tools to market quickly, to help dairy producers continue their voluntary efforts to innovate and compete in a sustainable way,” said Steve Obert, Indiana Dairy Producers.

“We fully support the Innovative FEED Act and appreciate the leadership of Reps. Pence, Baird, Schrier and Craig in introducing the bill. The legislation will be the spark needed to drive nutritional innovation in the U.S. that improves animal health and production while addressing public health challenges. We need this modernized regulatory oversight instead of the current policy of overregulation. Congress should enact this legislation without delay to put these tools in producers’ hands and allow them to remain competitive with our global counterparts whose regulatory systems have evolved with the times,” said American Feed Industry Association President and CEO, Constance Cullman.

“Members of the grain and feed industry thank Reps. Greg Pence, R-Ind.; Jim Baird, R-Ind.; Kim Schrier, D-Wash; and Angie Craig, D-Minn., for introducing this bipartisan legislation, which is needed to modernize our regulatory system so innovative feed ingredients, already safely used in dozens of other countries, can be available to American producers. These ingredients have novel benefits that make a positive impact on our food production system. This legislation would provide food manufacturers with a pathway to make truthful, non-misleading production and well-being claims for animal foods that have been substantiated to provide such benefits more efficiently,” said National Grain & Feed Association.

“On behalf of America’s farmer co-ops and their member-owners, I would like to thank Representatives Pence, Baird, Schrier, and Craig for their leadership in introducing the Innovative FEED Act today. This bill will modernize the animal feed regulatory structure by reducing burdensome red tape while allowing producers to compete better in the global marketplace. Simply put, this bill is incentivizing innovation while also giving producers new tools in a voluntary manner,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.

To read the bill:

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