USA - FDA partners with the Association of American Feed Control Officials to develop Animal Feed Regulatory Program Standards
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it will collaborate with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to develop voluntary regulatory program standards for federal and state agencies responsible for regulating facilities that manufacture, package, distribute, or store animal feed, including pet food. The Animal Feed Regulatory Program Standards (AFRPS) will be modeled after the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards that was successfully launched in 2007 and will similarly represent a significant step in promoting uniformity, equivalency and continuous improvement among feed regulatory agencies – all critical in a successful national integrated food safety system.
Joseph Reardon, Director of FDA’s Division of Federal State Relations (FDA/DFSR) made the announcement earlier this year at the 2011 AAFCO Midyear Meeting. Chad Linton, AAFCO president said, “AAFCO and FDA understand the importance of promoting uniformity across the agencies and will work efficiently and diligently to produce a positive and valuable Animal Feed Regulatory Program Standard that can be used by the states and FDA. We thank the committee members for their dedication and commitment in creating universal standards that will play a critical role in ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply.
While regulatory priorities, capabilities, capacities, authorities and activities may vary from state to state and district to district, the new AFRPS will provide the uniform basis for measuring and improving performance in reducing food and feed borne risks to human and animal health. The standards will represent the best practices appropriate for all animal feed and pet food regulatory programs and could include the following performance measures:
• A Program’s Regulatory Foundation;
• Inspection Practices and Procedures;
• Quality Assurance;
• Food/Feed Defense Preparedness and Response;
• Incident and Rapid Response;
• Enforcement and Compliance Strategies;
• Education and Outreach;
• Resource Management;
• Laboratory Resources; and
• Program Assessment.
The committee that is tasked to develop the regulatory program standards will be led by cochairs AAFCO representative Ali Kashani of the Washington State Department of Agriculture and Jeanette Murphy of the FDA/Center for Veterinary Medicine and project manager Beverly Kent, FDA/DFSR. The committee has already conducted two conference calls and a week-long face-to-face meeting. The goal of the committee is to have the standards available for states to voluntarily implement sometime in 2012.