FDA takes new approach on feed safety
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US takes
a more methodic approach to safety of animal feed. The Animal Feed Safety System
will focus on risk assessment and preventive measures.
The FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine is developing a comprehensive Animal
Feed Safety System (AFSS) to help protect the health of companion animals,
production animals, and humans. A core concept of the AFSS is applying risk
assessment to contaminants in ingredients for animal feed, including pet
Gaps in the system
George Graber, PhD, a former CVM official who organized the AFSS team and
now serves as a consultant, said the FDA's existing programs to ensure safety of
animal feed have focused on a few specific issues such as bovine spongiform
encephalopathy and medicated feeds. "There are gaps in the system, so the FDA is
trying to modernise and strengthen it," Dr Graber said. "The agency is expanding
the universe of firms, operations, and people who are going to be
Another core AFSS concept is emphasizing preventive measures. Dr Alfred
Montgomery, CVM counterterrorism coordinator, said veterinarians should be aware
of the AFSS because animal feed is a linchpin in the relationship between animal
and human health. "What threatens animal feed threatens the food chain and also
companion animals that are part of the family," Dr. Montgomery said. "We need
help from the veterinary community as we move forward for guidance and
assistance in implementing this effort."
The latest draft of the AFSS framework
includes 6 components that
cover ingredients, contaminants, manufacturing, reporting of unsafe feed,
regulatory oversight, and education and outreach.
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