The Food and Drug Administration issued in November a proposed rule on preventive controls for animal food under the Food Safety Modernization Act. Because the dairy industry diverts food production materials to farms and other venues where it is used to make animal feed, many IDFA members would have to comply with these regulations, which likely would bring negative economic and environmental consequences.
In joint comments filed Monday, IDFA and the National Milk Producers Federation called for significant changes to the proposed rule, “Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMPs) and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals.” According to the comments, sales of processing byproducts and food waste for use in animal food production have taken place for decades without any adverse impact on animal food safety, and companies making food for humans should not have to comply with regulations designed for the animal food and feed industry.
“We recommend FDA clarify that the proposed rule only applies to materials that are manufactured with the intent to market a finished product or ingredient as animal food,” the comments said. “In the alternative, FDA should either exempt human food manufacturers from the proposed rule or should reduce the compliance burden for those manufacturers who can document that the safety of their diverted food production materials is controlled by the recipient of the materials.”
The comments noted a variety of challenges that would make compliance impractical or impossible for human food manufacturers. They also pointed out that the increased cost of compliance could lead dairy companies to dispose of the byproducts and waste in other ways, such as sending to landfills or incineration, which could cause an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, farmers who rely on diverted food production materials to feed their animals would be forced to purchase higher-priced foods from less sustainable sources.
In conclusion, the comments said, “Any animal food safety concerns can be adequately addressed downstream by those directly responsible for the safe production and use of animal food and feed.” Read the full comments here.
IDFA and NMPF asked FDA to publish a revised proposed rule, including a new economic analysis, for public comment, and FDA recently announced that it will publish revised language this summer.
For more information, contact Clay Detlefsen, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.