AFIA reports that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is to hold a Sept. 23-24 meeting in the Washington, DC, area to discuss "the potential development of a comprehensive, risk-based animal feed safety system (AFSS)." FDA is aiming at a system, it said, to determine how animal feeds – both mixed feeds and ingredients – should be manufactured and distributed to minimize risks to both animals and people.
The purpose of the meeting, FDA said in a July 28 Federal Register notice, is to solicit comments from consumers, animal feed companies, livestock and poultry producers, state and local officials and others in how to best develop a system that will enhance current regulatory programs to protect human and animal health and minimize hazards.
At press time, AFIA was planning a review meeting of its comments prior to the FDA session. A reception is being planned for AFIA members attending the meeting also. FDA has limited attendance to 200.
The program is the latest step in a long-term dialogue FDA has conducted with the commercial feed industry, and centers on how to shift from end product regulation to a more risk-based, preventive regulation scheme. FDA said its AFSS system would be designed to reduce risks but within the confines of costs, technological limitations and resource limitations. Systems that will be examined include hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) approaches, International Organization for Standards (ISP) procedures, statistical process controls, and standard sanitary operating procedures.
FDA has had this workshop under consideration for some time and contacted AFIA to discuss this approach, which AFIA fully endorses. Speaking at AFIA’s Feed Control Committee meeting in Denver, CO, August 1, Dr. George Graber, director of FDA/CVM’s Division of Animal Feeds, said regulations implementing the AFSS were planned for 2005-2006. However, subject to resources and industry actions, such rules may not be developed.
The meeting is free and will be held at the Hyatt Dulles International Airport, Herndon, Va. The meeting begins at 1 p.m. on Sept. 23, and ends at 3 p.m. on Sept. 24. Hotel telephone: 1-800-233-1234 or 703-713-1234.
Full details about meeting registration can be obtained by contacting Linda Grassie, CVM, at (firstname.lastname@example.org).