ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) in its comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 3 stressed concerns over the draft guidance for industry titled "Ensuring Safety of Animal Feed Maintained and Fed On-Farm."
The draft document has been in the works for many years at FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.
At the top of the list, AFIA noted its disappointment with guidance, as there was no national conference on feed use on-farm, which would have decreased the need for AFIA's comments, as the industry would have been granted the opportunity to provide input on concepts and principles. The organization, however, still requests the opportunity to gather with FDA and the industry at a national conference.
"If a producer feels there is an issue with its feed, it is important to involve the manufacturer. Feed manufacturers determine a reportable food, and to do so, they need the information from the farmers," said Richard Sellers, AFIA senior vice-president of legislative and regulatory affairs. "If there is a problem, the manufacturer needs to know in order to prevent further distribution of the feed; and the sooner the better. It is a serious omission that FDA did not acknowledge, nor encourage, communication with feed manufacturers when customers have concerns."
AFIA expressed the need for proper dissemination of information regarding the guidance moving forward and stated its interest in a partnership with FDA in the process, provided certain changes within the language can be accommodated.
AFIA also made note of FDA's failure to recognize and support the ongoing relationships between feed manufacturers and customers, particularly regarding quality programs, commenting "the tone of this document reads as if farms need to be protected from feed manufacturers."
AFIA's comments go on to express the genuine relationship between the two entities, and asked FDA to encourage U.S. farmers to have continuous conversations with feed manufacturers about quality and safety programs. AFIA strongly suggests FDA note the feed industry's quality and feed safety programs, especially AFIA's Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Programs
For more information on AFIA's quality certification program, Safe Feed/Safe Food, visit www.safefeedsafefood.org.