US – Two dairy organisations have clashed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over proposed rules which could impose extra burdens on US cattle feed.
The National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association have told the FDA that pending livestock feed laws ‘go beyond the intent of congress’ and will not actually improve feed safety.
Instead, the FDA was warned the regulations would make animal feed harder to source and more expensive.
This was in response to draft announcement on 28 March by the FDA, released to gauge industry reaction and begin working to a final version after a 60 day submission period.
In joint comments sent to the FDA on Monday the two groups called for a review of the Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA) draft and recommended that the proposition only applied to feed materials, ‘manufactured with the intent to market a finished product or ingredient as animal food’.
The proposals relate to animal feed derived from by-products and food waste, which the NMPF and IDFA said is not new to the agricultural sector.
The IDFA said human food manufacturers should either be exempt from the rule or the compliance burden reduced for those who can prove the safety of their ‘diverted food production’.
Fears also surround the extent of the rule on the packing and storage of raw agricultural commodities which the NMPF dismissed as, ‘unrealistic, impractical and counterproductive.’
The letter said: “As authorized by FSMA, the proposed Animal Feed Rule exempts from regulation facilities solely engaged in storing raw agricultural commodities (except fruits and vegetables) intended for further distribution or processing. This includes elevators that store grains and oilseeds.
“However, the proposed rule defines “holding” – or storage – in a very narrow manner,” added the NMPF. “The definition would not encompass activities – such as drying, screening, conditioning, fumigating and blending – customarily performed for the safe or effective storage of raw agricultural commodities.”
The Current Good Manufacturing Practice element of the proposal links animal feed under the Bioterrorism Act, essentially meaning animal feed will come under the same scrutiny as human food.
This is according to a letter from the NMPF, which added: "We believe that a clear distinction between manufacturing and distribution practices for human foods versus animal feed is proper and has a sound scientific basis."
Animal feed standards, the NMPF added, need to be governed by standards specific to the livestock industry and not human food chains.