GRAS Modernization Working Group Receives AFIA Member of the Year Award

May 16, 2024

Contact Victoria Broehm

Key Points:

  • The American Feed Industry Association presented its 2024 Member of the Year Award to the GRAS Modernization Working Group.
  • This award is given to an AFIA member(s) who has exhibited amazing support over the year to helping the organization achieve its goals and objectives.
  • The GRAS Modernization Working Group conducted a review of the CVM and CFSAN animal food GRAS notification processes and presented their findings to initiate a constructive dialogue with the FDA on modernizing its animal food ingredient review processes.

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) proudly recognized members of its Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) Modernization Working Group with the 2024 AFIA Member of the Year award on Wednesday night at an AFIA Board of Directors reception.

"I am incredibly proud to acknowledge the outstanding dedication and exemplary efforts of the GRAS Modernization Working Group,” said AFIA President and CEO Constance Cullman. “Over the course of five months, these individuals demonstrated unwavering commitment, participating in conference calls and meticulously reviewing nearly 900 pages of submissions. Their proactive approach, characterized by the mindset of 'it needs to be done, so we are going to do it,' exemplifies a high standard of professionalism and initiative. Through their collaborative efforts, this group not only completed the task at hand efficiently but also ensured the continued progress of our industry.”

The AFIA Member of the Year award is generally presented to an AFIA member who exhibits outstanding support in achieving the organization’s goals and objectives throughout the year. With the exception of the 83 members of the Food Safety Modernization Act Working Group who received the award in 2014, and the entire AFIA membership following the COVID-19 outbreak in 2021, only 42 individuals have been honored prior to this year.

The GRAS Modernization Working Group was formed in summer 2023, as members of AFIA’s Ingredient Approval and Definition Committee noticed discrepancies between the GRAS notification processes of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), as well as other challenges with the CVM process that slowed innovation in the animal food industry. The working group conducted a thorough review of the GRAS notification processes, comparing and analyzing the differences between the CVM and CFSAN processes. The group submitted the findings to the CVM earlier this year, initiating a constructive dialogue with the agency on how it could modernize the GRAS notification process for animal food that facilitates innovation, while ensuring compliance with the safety standards in an efficient manner.

The following AFIA members are recognized for their contributions on the GRAS Modernization Working Group:

  • Emily Bulian Helmes & Roxanna Van Dorn, BiomEdit
  • Kristi Smedley, Ph.D., Center for Regulatory Services
  • Leteasha Gorham, Danisco Animal Nutrition and Health - IFF
  • Kevin Korth, Native Microbials Inc.
  • Caroline Moreira Carvalho, Annie Bailey Parr & Dr. Daniela Solomon, Novonesis Animal and Plant Biosolutions

For more information on AFIA’s Member of the Year Award, visit