Environmental claims on feed labels: FDA to host virtual event to gain new insights

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/insta_photos
© GettyImages/insta_photos

Related tags Fda environmental CVM Afia

The US FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) says registration is open for a virtual public listening session on the agency’s regulation of animal feeds claiming, for example, to enable environmental or production gains.

The event will take place on October 18, 2022.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the event will be an opportunity for the public and stakeholders to share information and insight with it about the regulation of animal foods with those type of claims.

The listening session will start at 10am EDT. The end time will be determined based on the number of presentations submitted by interested stakeholders. 

The FDA is reviewing CVM Policy and Procedures Manual (PPM) 1240.3605, Regulating Animal Foods with Drug Claims​, and is seeking public comments on how the existing policy could be updated to reflect evolving scientific knowledge and promote innovation.

The agency said that stakeholders interested in attending the virtual event need to register​ ahead.  Anyone interested in presenting during the event would need to submit the required data. The FDA will contact presenters by September 27, 2022, with further instructions.

In addition to holding the listening session, the agency said it is accepting electronic or written comments through to November 17, 2022.

The CVM added that, during Q1 2023, it will provide the public with additional opportunities to share input on other animal food-related topics such as the FDA’s role in the AAFCO ingredient definition process.

US lagging behind other markets

On average, studies have shown that it takes companies three-to-five years to get new ingredients through the FDA’s rigorous review process, which prevents innovation from making it to the livestock industry in a timely way, according to the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA).

In July, AFIA CEO, Constance Cullman, said it was important for the US to have a regulatory framework that offers a timely and predictable path to the marketplace for feed ingredients and one that can also keep pace with the evolving science of animal nutrition: 

Spurred on by sustainability demands, feed ingredients like seaweed that could help curb methane emissions in cows are being researched around the world. Additives such as DSM’s Bovaer, which has been developed to tackle such challenges in ruminants, are already seeing market introduction. However, the US lags behind in gaining approvals, noted the AFIA earlier this year. 

And it is only with those technologies in the marketplace that US farmers will be able to make the meaningful reductions in emissions that US policymakers are looking for, it argued.

Paul Davis, director of quality, animal food safety, and education, AFIA, presenting at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Outlook Forum in February, said part of the problem is that novel feed ingredients in the US cannot include environmental claims​ on their labels due to the FDA’s very narrow interpretation for what is considered a food versus a drug.

The FDA needs to be expeditious in expanding label claims and getting those ingredients approved, argued Davis.


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