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NMPF Asks FDA to Rewrite Animal Feed Regulation

April 4, 2014

NMPF has asked the Food and Drug Administration to rewrite a draft livestock feed regulation, saying the agency went beyond the intent of Congress by seeking to impose requirements that will not make animal feed safer.

In comments filed with the agency, NMPF asked FDA to substantially revise the regulation and set up a new round of comments from industry and the public. “FDA has the authority to re-propose the regulation and still comply with (a) court-ordered deadline to publish a final rule by August 30, 2015,” NMPF said.  The issue has gain visibility on Capitol Hill recently, with the FDA being challenged by industry groups like NMPF, as well as lawmakers.  At a Senate hearing Thursday, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg told lawmakers that she is committed to finding a practical solution to the concerns about the continued use distillers grains as animal feed.

The draft regulations were issued under the Food Safety Modernization Act, which gave the FDA broad new authority to regulate food. NMPF supports implementation of the 2010 law, but believes the draft animal feed regulation goes too far, particularly in making it harder to use brewers’ grain as animal feed. This “will result in unnecessary increased costs to dairy producers,” NMPF said.

By-products from brewing have been used in animal feed for hundreds of years and there is no public health risk associated with them.  NMPF joined the Beer Institute and the American Malting Barley Association in asking FDA to exempt from regulation animal feed products made during the production of alcoholic beverages.

NMPF also said the draft regulation incorrectly establishes manufacturing standards that equate animal feed and human food. “The innate hygienic standards of humans exceed the hygienic standards of livestock,” it said.

In separate comments submitted jointly with the International Dairy Foods Association, NMPF identified unnecessary and duplicative requirements for dairy processing plants which may divert some food production materials such as cheese trim and liquid whey to animal feed. These plants are already subject to FSMA requirements for human food production.