By David Fairfield, Senior Vice President, Feed
More than 450 industry representatives and regulatory officials participated on Jan. 23-25 in the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Midyear Meeting to discuss a variety of animal food regulatory issues. The meeting was conducted in Chattanooga, Tenn.
In a significant development, the Ingredient Definition Committee during the meeting approved a new tentative definition for Hemp Seed Meal, Mechanical Extracted for use in diets of laying hens as a source of protein and fat at an inclusion of no more than 20 percent of the diet. The ingredient is to be obtained by grinding or milling the cake, which remains after most of the oil is removed from the seeds of Cannabis sativa L. by a mechanical extraction process. The product is to be labeled with guarantees for minimum crude protein and maximum crude fat on an as-fed basis. In addition, the product is to contain no more than 20 parts per million (ppm) of total cannabidiol and no more than 2 ppm of total tetrahydrocannabinol. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a scientific review of the safety and utility of the product and concurred its suitability for use in diets for laying hens as detailed in the definition. This action represents the first step for approval of a hemp-derived feed ingredient by AAFCO. The approval by the committee will be considered by the AAFCO Board of Directors, and likely presented to the AAFCO membership for a final vote at the 2024 AAFCO Annual Meeting.
Among the other significant issues addressed during the AAFCO meeting were:
• Lot Identifiers: The Model Bills and Regulations Committee considered proposed regulations that would establish requirements to include a “lot identifier” on the labels, invoices or other documents accompanying commercial feeds in distribution to facilitate recalls and accurate tracing of the manufacturing and distribution history of the product. During committee discussion, several concerns were expressed regarding how compliance with the regulations would be demonstrated. In response, the committee requested the Feed Labeling Committee reconsider the proposed regulations and make clarifying recommendations.
• Poultry Feed Label Requirements: The Model Bills and Regulations Committee requested the Feed Labeling Committee further consider proposed revisions to model regulations for poultry feed labels to expand the number of animal classes and establish corresponding definitions. The topic likely will be considered again during the 2024 AAFCO Annual Meeting.
• Inspection Guidance: A workgroup established by the Inspection and Sampling Committee is working on potential guidance on conducting inspections for compliance with the FDA rule for Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals. The workgroup likely will provide a report during the committee’s next meeting in August.
• Pet Food: The Pet Food Committee discussed a report from a workgroup that considered whether it would be appropriate to establish model pet food regulations to address voluntary “low” copper claims on dog food labels. The report indicated the majority of workgroup members supported model regulations to allow “controlled” copper claims on dog food labels. The Pet Food Committee will consider what actions to take on the workgroup recommendations during its next meeting.
• Feed Labeling Workshop: It was announced during the Education and Training Committee meeting that AAFCO will conduct a feed labeling workshop in conjunction with the 2024 AAFCO Annual Meeting. The all-day workshop will be held on Aug. 6 and primarily focus on label requirements for non-medicated feed. Content will be targeted for individuals who have limited experience with feed labeling.
• Feed Ingredients: Among the actions taken related to feed ingredients were:
- Gluten-Related Name Changes: AAFCO membership voted to make official definitions for Corn Protein Meal, Corn Protein Feed, Grain Sorghum Protein Meal, and Grain Sorghum Protein Feed. AAFCO membership previously approved changes to the names of Corn Gluten Meal, Corn Gluten Feed, Grain Sorghum Gluten Meal and Grain Sorghum Gluten Feed to Corn Protein Meal, Corn Protein Feed, Grain Sorghum Protein Meal, and Grain Sorghum Protein Feed, respectively, to reflect that these ingredients do not contain gluten. Industry’s changeover to the revised names currently is to occur by 2025, but an extension to the transition timeframe is being considered.
- Processed Grain By-Products, Collective Terms: The Ingredient Definition Committee approved the addition of Corn Protein Feed and Corn Protein Meal to the Processed Grain By-Products collective term.
- Use of Feed Terms: A presentation was made during the Ingredient Definition Committee on the correct use of feed terms to describe ingredients.
AAFCO is the professional organization of federal and state feed regulatory officials. AAFCO’s actions are significant because most states adopt AAFCO model regulations and policies within their commercial feed regulatory frameworks. The 2024 AAFCO Annual Meeting is scheduled for Aug. 7-9 in San Antonio, Texas.