FSMA feed rule comment period extended

Additional time provided to industry in formulating comments for animal food rule.

The American Feed Industry Assn., said it had been informed unofficially that the Food and Drug Administration plans to extend the comment period deadline on the Food Safety Modernization Act’s proposed animal food rule from Feb. 26 to March 31, 2014.

In November, AFIA along with the National Grain and Feed Assn., National Renderers Assn. and Pet Food Institute submitted a joint letter to FDA requesting an extension on the comment period deadline for the animal food rule comment period.

AFIA welcomed FDA’s decision to extend the comment period deadline as it will give the organization valuable time to further review and submit comments to the agency. It is unlikely however that FDA will grant extensions for other FSMA proposed rules due to a strict court-mandated timeline.

“We’d celebrate this victory, but there’s little time to do so with the work still ahead of us in preparing comments for these massive rules, the foreign supplier verification proposed rules and third-party certification proposed rules for which comments are due Jan. 27,” said AFIA senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs Richard Sellers. “In addition, FDA has published proposed rules for the veterinary feed directive program due March 11. We’re very appreciative that FDA granted our request and will continue to work alongside of the agency as we wade through the rules.” 

AFIA FSMA Working Groups met Jan. 16-17, in Tampa, Fla., to answer the 40 plus questions presented by FDA in the proposed rules for the FSMA animal food rule. Eight sub-groups have been formed to focus on specific areas of the rule. 

AFIA spokesperson Miranda McDaniel explained the expectation of the meeting was to address a majority of the issue areas in the rules and leave with a large number of them resolved or nearing resolution. 

In addition, the appropriations bill report language supports FDA's decision to rewrite and seek public comment on aspects of its proposed FSMA regulations.

"FDA is to be commended for its recent decision to revise language in proposed rules affecting farmers including changes to proposed regulations regarding water quality standards and testing, the use of raw manure and compost, mixed use facilities, and qualified exemptions," the report language stated.

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