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AFIA requests animal food exemption in FSMA Reportable Food Registry

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) filed comments on June 6, 2014, with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting an exemption of animal food from provisions made to the Reportable Food Registry (Sec. 417) of the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic Act (FD&C) as amended by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

According to AFIA, Congress' intent when generating Sec. 211 of FSMA, which amends Sec. 417 of the FD&C regarding the Reportable Food Registry requirements, was only designated for human food products and not intended to affect animal feed or petfood. "The statutory language does not mention 'animal food', it addresses notification to 'consumers' and requires that notifications be published in 'grocery stores' only," said AFIA. "The 'consumers' of animal food products are livestock or companion animals. These animals are not capable of purchasing the products or reading a notification regarding a product. Customers or purchasers would have been the more appropriate term if Congress intended this provision to apply to animal food products."

AFIA also said the law's exemptions only include "raw agricultural commodities" of fruits and vegetables—not including grains used that occur in their raw or natural state—further stressing Congress' focus on human food versus animal food. The organization highlighted its support for every animal food facility having a recall plan under FSMA in combination with an effective Reportable Food Registry system enforced by FDA, which AFIA said would prevent "most products that could cause serious or adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals should be in the process of being recalled or will not have ever reached a grocery store shelf."

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