ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, US — Senator John Boozman of Arkansas announced Republican support for the creation of “a new pathway at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the approval of new and innovative feed additive products that improve efficiency in meat and dairy production,” as part of the minority party’s framework of farm bill priorities.

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) praised the statement from Boozman, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, which referred to the legislative text found within the Innovative Feed Enhancement and Economic Development (Innovative FEED) Act.

“The Senate Republicans have shown that there is hope in Congress for moving forward commonsense legislation that will achieve greater food safety and security, sustainability and animal health and production,” said Constance Cullman, president and chief executive officer of the AFIA. “Our members tell us that ushering in modern feed innovations currently takes a herculean effort within the FDA’s outdated regulatory system. The FDA has said it needs the tools to change, our nation’s top brass have said the time is ripe for change and our farmers have said that not changing with the times is not an option. 

“We urge Congress to include the Innovative FEED Act on any legislative vehicle, including the farm bill, and continue to encourage swift action for America’s farmers and ranchers.”

The Innovative FEED Act would update the FDA’s process to review new ingredients that do not impact animal nutrition, but rather, act in the animal’s gut to provide health or production benefits, reduce emissions or address human food safety concerns, as a food additive rather than as an animal drug. 

By amending the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to establish a new category of animal food additives, it would give the FDA the authority to review these innovations as feed ingredients. As such, these ingredients would be subject to the rigorous Food Additive Petition process before gaining market approval, ensuring the products work and are safe to the animals that consume them and the people who eat the resulting foods. 

The Innovative FEED Act is supported by nearly 200 state and national agriculture organizations and companies, a growing number of bipartisan members of Congress and several administration officials, the AFIA said.