The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) hosted its Regulatory Training Seminar – a biennial event – in Arlington, Virginia, USA, on December 9-10, 2015. The training pinpointed regulatory hot topics affecting the U.S. feed industry including genetically modified labeling challenges, biosecurity and trade, as well as numerous training exercises.

Prior to RTS, AFIA hosted a one-day Food Safety Modernization Act Phase III training themed, “The Future is Now.”

AFIA’s legislative and regulatory staff members covered a variety of topics at the FSMA training including AFIA’s reaction to the animal food final rule and how to complete an animal food safety plan, current good manufacturing practices and what records are necessary for FSMA compliance. Dan McChesney, Ph.D., of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine, provided an overview of the animal food rule, touching on the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) and third-party rules.

“Don’t look at the (FSMA) rules and say what do I have to do, but look at the rules and say what am I doing and see if there are gaps. You may be further along than you think,” McChesney said at the conclusion of his presentation.

The RTS training that followed also discussed numerous FSMA implementation aspects, exploring FSVPs and accreditation bodies, preparation for FDA inspection and the documentation process.

Keynote speaker Andrew Walmsley of the American Farm Bureau Federation discussed food policy issues currently up for debate in Washington, D.C., including genetically modified organisms. Walmsley continued to explain, “We have been genetically modifying food since we stopped being hunter-gatherers.”

Attendees also heard from various AFIA staff members and Bob Hahn and John Dillard from AFIA’s outside legal counsel, Olsson, Frank and Weeda; Dave Edwards, Ph.D., FDA-CVM; Rebecca Fecitt, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service; April Hodges, Ph.D., FDA-CVM; Kristi Krafka, Kemin Industries; Angela Mills, Southern States Cooperative; Eric Mittenthal, North American Meat Institute; Ron Moser, Ph.D., JBS United; Eric Nelson, FDA-CVM; Dr. Jack Shere, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; Kay Johnson Smith, Animal Agriculture Alliance; and Will Stone, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

AFIA will host another identical FSMA Phase III training at the International Production & Processing Expo on Jan. 27, 2016, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.