AFIA: Funding boost will speed up US feed ingredient approval process

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/z_wei
© GettyImages/z_wei

Related tags: Fda, innovation

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has applauded the passage of bipartisan legislation to fund the federal government for the remainder of the 2020 fiscal year as the move sees a key AFIA policy ambition – increased funding for feed ingredient approvals - become a reality.

It said the 2020 fiscal year appropriations package allocates additional dollars to the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means the CVM can hire additional staff specifically for reviewing new feed ingredient submissions, it added.

The $5m allocation from appropriators will allow CVM to nearly double ingredient approval staff, which will reduce the length of review time by the agency in the approval timeline, it reported.

“AFIA members wait far too long on the government to approve ingredients to bring new products to market,” said Constance Cullman, AFIA’s president and CEO. “In 2019, AFIA went after new funds for CVM through the appropriations process, to make sure they have the resources to hire the staff needed to speed up this cumbersome process. We are excited that this policy priority for our organization and industry is now a reality and we look forward to working with CVM to implement these improvements.”

'Innovation is being stifled' 

Innovation in the sector is being “stifled”​ by the regulatory process, which remains unpredictable and lengthy, she told this publication​ earlier this month. “When Europe is three years ahead of us in approving ingredients we have to ask, ‘What do we need to do differently in our regulatory approach?."

As the science of animal nutrition evolves, the US feed industry is researching and bring new ingredients to market to improve the health of farmed and companion animals, she said.

“In recent years, the lengthy ingredient review processes have hindered many of these new ingredients with the attributes to improve the safety, quality and nutrition of feed and pet food from entering the marketplace. AFIA has been working hard to improve the ingredient review processes and this funding is one important step in the process. The industry’s international counterparts have moved forward with ingredients approved in their home countries, leaving the US industry behind.”

Ingredient suppliers and animal feed manufacturers are regularly hitting costly roadblocks that prevent new innovations from reaching the marketplace, said the organization, citing a study funded by the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER) that found for every year of delay in the approval process, submitting companies were losing an average $1.75m annually in revenue per ingredient, diminishing their access to capital which could be used for further research and development in the field. 

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