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FDA clarification sought on feed ingredient definition standards

Without fix, FDA may no longer recognize all the feed ingredients that currently have an AAFCO ingredient definition.

The feed and pet food industry are urging members of Congress to sign onto a letter circulated by Reps. Andy Barr (R., Kent.) and Bob Latta (R., Ohio) to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking them to administratively resolve an issue emanating from the Food & Drug Administration Act Amendments of 2007 (FDAAA).

Following new rules implemented in the wake of the China melamine pet food incident, FDA’s interchangeable uses of “definition” and “standards” with regard to the development of pet food ingredient standards is now being questioned. The use of both terms in FDAAA – only “definition” is used in the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act – has caused some at FDA to question the existing FDA and Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) ingredient approval process, and may jeopardize FDA’s 35-year formal relationship with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), which represents state feed regulators.

To those in the feed industry it could require every new ingredient will have to go through a registration process in every state. It also is possible that FDA may no longer recognize all the ingredients that currently have an AAFCO ingredient definition.

"As these issues have been in regulatory limbo for so long, companies developing new animal feed and pet food ingredients are currently withholding their applications for approval until the system is certain. This loss of innovation hurts feed and pet food companies, farmers and ranchers, and ultimately, consumers," the letter states.

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