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AFIA comments on third party certification programs

Published on 9 September, 2008, Last updated at 04:37 GMT
 

ARLINGTON, VA., Sept. 9, 2008 – The American Feed Industry Association provided comments about the benefits of its Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program to the Food and Drug Administration this week. AFIA’s SF/SF Certification Program is the only third-party-certified feed safety program operating in the United States today that meets all FDA requirements for feed manufacturing.

AFIA submitted its comments shortly after FDA released a draft Guidance for Industry document, and AFIA’s comments included its support of the FDA’s efforts to recognize voluntary food and feed safety programs initiated by the industry.

“More than 300 facilities representing more than 90 AFIA member companies already received Safe Feed/Safe Food certification, and others have begun the process,” said Richard Sellers, AFIA vice president of feed control and nutrition. “We are pleased FDA has initiated this phase of a process that we hope leads to future recognition of the SF/SF program and others like it by FDA.”   

Among its submitted comments, AFIA “urges FDA not to adopt a one-size-fits-all program, as many of the criteria may not fit the SF/SF program.” AFIA also urges FDA to provide criteria for auditing firms and inspectors and suggest the frequency of third-party audits among the guidelines it is expected to issue in the future.

The SF/SF Certification Program, launched in September 2004, provides manufacturers of livestock feed, pet food and related ingredients opportunities to have their facilities inspected and certified by outside, third-party auditors to determine if they meet industry guidelines. Plants that meet or exceed the guidelines are certified, thus earning the privilege to use the SF/SF logo on their products, trucks, letterhead and more.

The FDA’s draft guidance document is officially referred to as the “Voluntary Third-Party Certification Programs for Foods and Feeds” document. According to FDA, the draft guidance describes the general attributes FDA believes a voluntary third-party certification program should have in order to help ensure its certification is a reliable reflection that the foods and feeds from certified facilities are safe and meet applicable FDA requirements.

 AFIA is the national trade association for livestock feed and pet food manufacturers, ingredient manufacturers and suppliers, equipment manufacturers and other firms that supply goods and services to the feed industry. AFIA’s more than 450 corporate members manufacture 75 percent of the primary, commercial feed in the U.S. AFIA represents all aspects of the total feed industry.

 The FDA draft guidance document may be found at this link: http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/ContentViewer?objectId=090000648066390a&disposition=attachment&contentType=pdf/

 AFIA’s comments to FDA regarding this matter may be found at this link:  http://www.afia.org/Afia/Files/2008%20Misc/AFIA%20comments9-8-08.pdf

 

 
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