Feed Bites

AFIA Members Strive for Excellence, Gov Partners Should Too

Written by: Leah Wilkinson   |   June 16, 2021

Ingredients, Federal agencies, Policy priority series

This blog is part of our policy priority series.

Our members strive every day for excellence in researching and developing new ingredients for use in feed and pet food. It is our responsibility to bring products to the market that are safe for the intended species and perform as promised. So why should our expectations from our government when it comes to their job of reviewing the safety and efficacy of those new animal food ingredients be any different?

Ensuring that animal food ingredients are not stifled by regulatory red-tape and come to the marketplace in a more expeditious manner remains a top priority for the American Feed Industry Association. On behalf of our members, we are working with the regulatory staff at the Food and Drug Administration and policymakers on Capitol Hill to provide necessary resources and appropriate policy interpretations to ensure animal health and safety, while allowing for a predictable regulatory environment. 

It is expensive to develop and bring a new animal food ingredient to market and when that investment is held up even further because of a slow regulatory review process, that leaves money on the table for our industry and puts our animal producers at a competitive disadvantage with producers in other countries who have access to these ingredients. Some ingredients can move relatively quickly through the system (~two years) while others linger for eight or more years.  

There are many reasons for the delays, and I want to convey that the AFIA is working to make meaningful improvements to help get that excellence back into our U.S. ingredient review systems. Here’s a sampling of what we are working on:

  • Identify issues and seek improvements to the Food Additive Petition, Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) Notification Process and the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ (AAFCO) ingredient review process.
  • In Congress’s 2020 fiscal year appropriations package, the AFIA secured an additional $5 million for the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) to hire new ingredient review staff. Those staff have been hired and onboarded. To continue making progress on more timely reviews, we are seeking an additional $5 million in the fiscal 2022 appropriations package.  
  • The health and human services secretary is delaying publication of approved food additives in the Federal Register. The AFIA wrote a letter in April and now is seeking a meeting with the department to clear these regulations for publication and restore the previous process for a simpler review before publication.
  • We are developing a guide to educate industry on the different U.S. ingredient review systems and requirements.
  • The AFIA is a founding member of the International Cooperation for Convergence of Technical Requirements for the Assessment of Feed Ingredients (ICCF). This important international cooperation aims to develop and establish common guidance that covers the technical requirements for the assessment of new feed ingredients so that companies can conduct one study that meets (all or most of) the requirements for the European Union, Canada and United States, versus having to meet requirements for three different regulatory systems.
  • AFIA member Meagan Davis, senior scientist at ToxStrategies, is leading the development of an online educational program with AAFCO on requirements for submission packages of new animal food ingredients.

To be a part of the AFIA’s work on this issue, I encourage you to participate in the association’s Ingredient Approval and Definition Committee (IADC) and help guide our activities to gain more certainty, efficiency and excellence in our U.S. ingredient review systems.

Comments See our policy on comments

Post a Comment

Required Field