Vitamin shortage: Canadian regulator issues interim policy measures

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images/peshkov
© Getty Images/peshkov

Related tags Vitamin

Canadian feed manufacturers can temporarily break from adherence to regulatory specifications on vitamin A and E levels while global supplies remain limited.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) Animal Feed Division and Pre-Market Application Submissions Office announced the temporary change​ in compliance policy at the end of December. It is set to run through May 31.

The interim policy was designed to help feed manufacturers adapt to a global shortage of vitamin A and vitamin E, the agency said. The compressed supply​ stemmed from a fire at a BASF production plant in Germany that happened at the end of October.

“This interim policy was created to respond to the current global shortage of Vitamins A and E. It allows the feed industry to respond to this shortage quickly, without any administrative delays, and return to their pre-shortage vitamin A and E guarantees once the shortage is over," ​said a spokesperson for the CFIA.

The shortage of vitamins is expected, at this point, to last into the first quarter of 2018, noted the agency.

However, it will continue to closely monitor availability as the year progresses. “If the shortage continues past May 31, 2018, the interim policy could be extended," ​the spokesperson told us.

Reformulation underway

In response to the short supply of the specific vitamins, Canadian companies have started to redesign their feeds, said the CFIA representative.

“Such reformulation allows feed manufacturers to use vitamins A and E as prudently as possible while still meeting the vitamin requirements of the livestock animals consuming the feed​."

“A change to the guarantees for vitamins A and E in a registered feed is considered an administrative amendment, which would normally require an application be made to the CFIA,” ​the spokesperson continued. “Given that this shortage of vitamins A and E is expected to be temporary, the CFIA has instead published this interim policy.”

The temporary guidance outlines that feed manufacturers have to provide a notification of reformulation and specify that their product labeling will accurately depict nutrient guarantees. Revised guarantees will remain within the requirements of feeds regulation, said the CFIA.

Additionally, guarantees for the two vitamins will need to return to the originally registered levels when supplies of vitamins A and E stabilize, the agency said.

The short-term reformulation of livestock feeds with reduced amounts of vitamins A and E is not expected to generate “undue safety”​ or welfare risks for production animals, the agency said.

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