Federal program aims to make pet food, livestock feed safer
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[March 01, 2014]
By P.J. Huffstutter
(Reuters) - A new federal program aims to standardize inspection
procedures for pet food and farm animal feed produced in the United
States, making them safer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
said on Friday.
The Animal Feed Regulatory Program Standards
comprise a series of new voluntary standards for inspections by
state and other regulatory programs that oversee the production of
pet food and feed for farm animals such as cattle, chickens and
Concern over the safety of pet food and farm animal feed has mounted
in recent years, as discoveries of salmonella-contaminated dog food
and livestock feed contaminated with a corn-based toxin led to waves
of product recalls and worries about the safety of the U.S. food
Pet food is a more than a billion-dollar grain-based business in the
United States, while livestock feed accounts for the primary use of
the two biggest row crops in the country.
But 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, critics say.
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.
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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,"
the agency said in an email.
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.
(Reporting By P.J. Huffstutter; Editing
by Jonathan Oatis)
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