ARLINGTON, VA. — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) applauded the introduction of legislation that will establish a regulatory pathway for a new category of animal food substances.

The Innovative Feed Enhancement and Economic Development (FEED) Act will amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic (FDC) Act for animal food substances that act solely within animals’ gut microbiomes or in the feed they are digesting to provide a wide range of benefits. The additives would be reviewed for safety and effectiveness as food additives, not drugs, allowing them to come to market quicker.

The bill was introduced by Representatives Greg Pence (R-Ind.), Jim Baird (R-Ind.), Kim Schrier (D-Wash.) and Angie Craig (D-Minn.). Prior to being brought in front of Congress, amendments to the bill passed with overwhelming support through the Senate Committee of Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP).

The AFIA urged Congress to act quickly on the bill, which has bipartisan and bicameral support.

“The legislation will be the spark needed to drive nutritional innovation that improves animal health and production while addressing public health challenges,” said Constance Cullman, president and chief executive officer of the AFIA. “We need this modernized regulatory oversight instead of the current policy of overregulation. Any delay in enacting this legislation continues to put US agriculture at a disadvantage compared to our global counterparts whose regulatory systems have evolved with the times.”

The AFIA has urged the FDA to modernize its 1998 Policy and Procedures Manual Guide 1240.3605, which made it difficult for animal food manufacturers from indicating non-nutritive benefits on labels because they had to navigate the FDA’s drug approval process.

Dozens of countries already have approved and started using these feed ingredients on farms, resulting in improved animal production, wellbeing, reduced pre-harvest food safety concerns, and a smaller environmental footprint, the AFIA said.

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