AFIA Responds to GAO Report on FDA’s Management of Feed Ban
The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has issued a media statement in response to the GAO report on the FDA's management of the feed ban
The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has issued a media statement in response to the GAO report on the FDA's management of the feed ban (See story: Program weaknesses continue to undermine U.S. firewall against BSE):
American Feed Industry Association supports the Food & Drug Administration's (FDA) risk-based priority inspection approach to prevent the spread of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and believes the agency's inspection and enforcement system protects the U.S. cattle herd and assures the safety of American beef.
To thoroughly assess this nation's on-going protections against BSE, it's necessary to review federal enforcement in the context of progressive measures adopted by the industry in conjunction with federal regulations. In 2001, AFIA established the Facility Certification Institute (FCI) as a separate, independent auditing organization to verify feed and rendering industry compliance with FDA's BSE feed regulations.
Most recently, AFIA launched the Safe Feed/Safe Food program, a landmark effort created to ensure continuous improvement in the delivery of a safe food supply for the growth and care of animals. This initiative is one of the most ambitious and significant programs implemented by the feed industry. These additional voluntary industry initiatives complement FDA's enforcement efforts, adding extra layers of protection to current BSE mitigation measures.
The Association continues to work to ensure feed industry awareness and understanding of federal feed regulations, educating key parties and contributing to overall consumer confidence in the nation's beef supply. AFIA is confident the U.S. beef supply is safe and existing safeguards effectively protect consumers and the food supply.
The aggressive, on-going animal surveillance program, begun by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, underscores FDA and industry actions to protect the beef supply and is working very effectively. In the past 10 months, over 275,000 cattle have been tested for BSE, revealing no positive cases.
Inspection records verify that the feed industry's compliance rate is one of the highest ever for a regulation administered by FDA. AFIA has repeatedly called for total compliance and inspection of all operations falling within the scope of the rule, and supports strong enforcement action."