Included in legislation to fund the government for the remainder of the 2020 fiscal year is an important provision to increase funding for animal food ingredient approvals, a major policy priority for the Animal Feed Industry Assn. (AFIA).
The 2020 fiscal year appropriations package allocates new dollars to the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) to hire additional staff specifically for reviewing new animal food ingredient submissions. The $5 million allocation from appropriators will allow CVM to nearly double ingredient approval staff, which will reduce the length of review time by the agency in the approval timeline, AFIA said in a statement.
“AFIA members wait far too long on the government to approve ingredients to bring new products to market,” said Constance Cullman, AFIA’s president and chief executive officer. “In 2019, AFIA went after new funds for CVM through the appropriations process, to make sure they have the resources to hire the staff needed to speed up this cumbersome process. We are excited that this policy priority for our organization and industry is now a reality and we look forward to working with CVM to implement these improvements.”
Cullman added, “As the science of animal nutrition evolves, the animal food industry works hard to research and bring new ingredients to market to improve the health of our food-producing and companion animals. In recent years, the lengthy ingredient review processes have hindered many of these new ingredients with the attributes to improve the safety, quality and nutrition of feed and pet food from entering the marketplace. AFIA has been working hard to improve the ingredient review processes and this funding is one important step in the process. The industry’s international counterparts have moved forward with ingredients approved in their home countries, leaving the U.S. industry behind.”
Ingredient suppliers and animal food manufacturers are regularly hitting costly roadblocks that prevent new innovations from reaching the marketplace. In fact, a study funded by the Institute for Feed Education and Research found that for every year of delay in the approval process, submitting companies across the animal food manufacturing industry were losing an average $1.75 million annually in revenue per ingredient, diminishing their access to capital which could be used for further research and development in the field.
As part of the funding, an additional $19.6 million was provided for more agricultural inspectors at land, air and sea ports to prevent African swine fever (ASF) and other foreign animal diseases (FAD) from entering the United States.
The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (H.R. 1865), otherwise known as the FY2020 appropriations, also included for those in agriculture:
- $8 million for the Food Safety Outreach Program
- $7 million for Food Safety Modernization Act enhancements
- $16.5 million for implementation of the Hemp Production Program
- $2 million for CBD research, policy evaluation, market surveillance, issuance of an enforcement discretion policy, and appropriate regulatory activities with respect to products under jurisdiction of FDA which contain CBD
- $10 million for the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, guaranteeing a second year of this program
- $24 million for pesticide program enforcement, an increase of $5.9 million over FY19
- $500,000 for addressing Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
The agreement includes, among other tax extenders, a retroactive and prospective extension of the biodiesel tax credit and the RURAL Act, which ensures that rural electric co-ops that receive Broadband or FEMA grants are not at risk of losing their tax-exempt status.