By David Fairfield, Senior Vice President, Feed
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently launched a webpage dedicated to the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus, a highly contagious and deadly swine disease that has never become established in the United States, but has caused significant death of pigs around the world in places such as China, Mongolia, Vietnam and parts of the European Union.
The FDA webpage notes that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees the prevention, surveillance and control of foreign animal diseases, including ASF, and that FDA is the primary U.S. government agency responsible for regulating and overseeing the animal food supply. FDA noted it works closely with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to support efforts to protect the U.S. swine herd from ASF, while monitoring the animal food supply as a potential pathway for the ASF virus to infect pigs.
The webpage also highlights that FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) is committed to working with sponsors to help facilitate the development and approval of products intended to prevent ASF infection and spread. Both new animal drugs and animal food additives require pre-market review and approval by FDA prior to being legally marketed. Since there are several regulatory pathways to consider, FDA encourage sponsors interested in bringing such products to the marketplace to consult with the agency by emailing AskCVM@fda.hhs.gov.
NGFA continues to be engaged in forums with FDA, USDA and other industry stakeholders to address the potential introduction of foreign animal diseases, including ASF virus, into the United States via grain and feed products. Within these forums, NGFA has advocated that a science- and risk-based approach be utilized by both industry and regulatory agencies to address this emerging issue. The next stakeholder forum to discuss ASF is scheduled for Aug. 25.