By David Fairfield, Senior Vice President of Feed Services
Industry representatives will join federal and state regulatory officials to examine key animal feed safety and regulatory issues during the upcoming meeting of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) on Aug. 10-12 in Bellevue, Wash.
Feed regulatory officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and various states are scheduled to provide regulatory update on the on-going implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). In addition, members of AAFCO will continue to consider how to incorporate the new FSMA-related requirements into AAFCO’s model guidance documents and feed inspector’s manual.
Meanwhile, the AAFCO Ingredient Definition Committee will explore potential ways to modernize AAFCO’s ingredient-definition process through which substances may gain approval and recognition for acceptable use in animal feed. Topics to be to discussed include recognition of substances that are the subject of self-affirmed generally recognized as safe (GRAS) declarations or FDA GRAS notification “no-questions” responses, the use of a standardized ingredient identity template for animal feed ingredients and the creation of a “negative list” that would include substances that explicitly are not approved for use in animal feed.
AAFCO is the professional organization of federal and state feed regulatory officials, with which the NGFA interacts extensively. Among other things, NGFA feed industry members and NGFA staff serve as non-voting advisers to key AAFCO committees and will participate actively in the upcoming meeting.
Other Issues: Other significant issues on the agenda during the upcoming AAFCO meeting include:
- Feed Labeling: The Model Bills and Regulations Committee will discuss proposed changes to the labeling requirements associated with minerals and vitamins. In addition, the Feed Labeling Committee will review labeling requirements associated with medicated feeds that contain veterinary feed directive (VFD) drugs.
- Training, Certification of Feed Inspectors: The Education and Training Committee plans to continue work on implementing proficiency training and certification of inspectors who meet the requirements of FDA’s Integrated National Food Safety System initiative. It is anticipated that state inspectors at some future time will need such certification before conducting inspections on behalf of FDA.
- Pet Food Issues: The Pet Food Committee will discuss modernizing pet food labels, as well as means to verify human-grade claims made for pet food products. In addition, a 1-½ day pet food labeling workshop will be conducted immediately after the AAFCO meeting.
- Feed Contaminants: The Feed and Feed Ingredient Manufacturing Committee will continue its work to update the guidelines for contaminant levels permitted in mineral feed ingredients that are published in the AAFCO Official Publication.
The NGFA will report significant outcomes from the AAFCO meeting in the next edition of the NGFA Newsletter.