The Animal Feed Regulatory Program Standards comprise a series of voluntary standards for inspections by state and other regulatory programs that oversee the production of petfood and feed for farm animals such as cattle, chickens and pigs. Currently, routine inspection and enforcement practices can differ among the various state agencies responsible for conducting inspections of the companies that make these products, and problems can often fall through the gaps, say critics. The new standards aim to help unify this process, with guidelines that range from on-site inspection protocols at feed plants to how to respond to feed-related illnesses or deaths.
The guidelines are comprised of 11 individual standards:
While the program is not mandatory, "the FDA is encouraging state programs to implement the feed standards because this will build uniformity and consistency among state feed regulatory programs," said the agency. The new program follows the 2011 federal Food Safety Modernization Act, which shifted the focus of federal regulators away from responding to food contamination to preventing it.
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As work continues on creating a new nutrition label that focuses on simplifying information for consumers, challenges remain.
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