The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) expressed disappointment with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s draft guidance document, “Ensuring Safety of Animal Feed Maintained and Fed On-Farm.”
According to FDA, “This draft guidance is intended to help animal producers develop procedures and practices to ensure the use of safe feed in animal production.... FDA’s guidance documents, including this guidance, do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities.
“Instead, guidances describe the Agency’s current thinking on a topic and should be viewed only as recommendations, unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited. The use of the word ‘should’ in FDA guidances means that something is suggested or recommended, but not required.”
But in a news release issued this morning, AFIA asserts: “The tone of this document reads as if farms need to be protected from feed manufacturers.”
"If a producer feels there is an issue with its feed, it is important to involve the manufacturer,” says Richard Sellers, AFIA senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs. “Feed manufacturers determine a reportable food, and to do so, they need the information from the farmers.
"If there is a problem, the manufacturer needs to know in order to prevent further distribution of the feed; and the sooner the better. It is a serious omission that FDA did not acknowledge, nor encourage, communication with feed manufacturers when customers have concerns."
Read the full AFIA release below:
AFIA Stresses Customer-Feed Manufacturer Relationship to FDA
ARLINGTON, Va., June 5, 2015 -- AFIA in its comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Wednesday stressed concerns over the draft guidance for industry titled "Ensuring Safety of Animal Feed Maintained and Fed On-Farm." The draft document has been in the works for many years at FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.
At the top of the list, AFIA noted its disappointment with guidance, as there was no national conference on feed use on-farm, which would have decreased the need for AFIA's comments, as the industry would have been granted the opportunity to provide input on concepts and principles. The organization, however, still requests the opportunity to gather with FDA and the industry at a national conference.
"If a producer feels there is an issue with its feed, it is important to involve the manufacturer. Feed manufacturers determine a reportable food, and to do so, they need the information from the farmers," said Sellers. "If there is a problem, the manufacturer needs to know in order to prevent further distribution of the feed; and the sooner the better. It is a serious omission that FDA did not acknowledge, nor encourage, communication with feed manufacturers when customers have concerns."
AFIA expressed the need for proper dissemination of information regarding the guidance moving forward and stated its interest in a partnership with FDA in the process, provided certain changes within the language can be accommodated.
AFIA also made note of FDA's failure to recognize and support the ongoing relationships between feed manufacturers and customers, particularly regarding quality programs, commenting "the tone of this document reads as if farms need to be protected from feed manufacturers."
AFIA's comments go on to express the genuine relationship between the two entities, and asked FDA to encourage U.S. farmers to have continuous conversations with feed manufacturers about quality and safety programs. AFIA strongly suggests FDA note the feed industry's quality and feed safety programs, especially AFIA's Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Programs
For more information on AFIA's quality certification program, Safe Feed/Safe Food, visitwww.safefeedsafefood.org.
The American Feed Industry Association, based in Arlington, Va., is the world's largest organization devoted exclusively to representing the business, legislative and regulatory interests of the U.S. animal feed industry and its suppliers. Founded in 1909, the organization membership is comprised of the total feed industry-from commercial and integrated feed manufacturers, to ingredient suppliers, pet food manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, industry support and equipment manufacturers. AFIA is also the recognized leader on international industry developments and holds membership in the International Feed Industry Federation.
Members include more than 575 domestic and international companies. More than 75 percent of the commercial feed and 70 percent of the non-grain ingredients including soybean meal, distillers co-products, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, yeast products and other miscellaneous/specialty ingredients in the U.S. are manufactured by AFIA members.