The Food and Drug Administrationâ€™s (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) that allows FDA to formally recognize the Associationâ€™s list of feed ingredients and defines the role FDA can play in deciding on the suitability of feed ingredients offered for addition to the list.
â€œThis is a significant step forward in FDAâ€™s effort to enhance the safety of feed. And it allows FDA to formally recognize the valuable contribution AAFCO makes in determining suitability of feed ingredients,â€ said Dr. Dan McChesney, Director of CVMâ€™s Office of Surveillance and Compliance.
AAFCO is a voluntary organization comprised largely of regulatory officials who have responsibility for enforcing their stateâ€™s laws and regulations concerning the safety of animal feeds. Its membership is comprised of representatives from each state in the United States, as well as representatives from Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Canada, the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
â€œFDA and AAFCO have had a long and successful working relationship,â€ said Dr. Sharon Benz, Director of CVMâ€™s Division of Animal Feeds. â€œThis agreement allows AAFCO and FDA to leverage that relationship in a way that will improve feed safety.â€
A basic goal of AAFCO is to provide the means for ensuring the development and implementation of equitable laws, regulations, standards, definitions, and enforcement policies for regulating animal feed. AAFCO has no enforcement authority.
AAFCO publishes an annual Official Publication (OP) that includes a list of all ingredients AAFCO has reviewed and found suitable for use in animal feeds. The OP also provides a list of ingredient definitions and common or usual ingredient names. FDA has informally cited the OPâ€™s ingredient list and has acted as AAFCOâ€™s scientific advisor in reviewing petitions for the addition of ingredients to the list or for changes in the ingredient definitions. However, the OP list does not have the force of law.
Under the memorandum, CVM assigns scientists to work with AAFCO in reviewing petitions for new feed ingredients or for modifications to existing ingredient definitions. In addition, before it adopts a new feed ingredient definition or amends an existing one, AAFCO will ask CVM for advice and a letter of concurrence. The memorandum also requires AAFCO to remove a definition from its OP if FDA provides convincing scientific evidence that the ingredient is no longer suitable for its intended purpose.
The memorandum will be in effect until September 1, 2012.
Source: AVMA, FDA