The National Grain and Feed Association has urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to extend the comment periods on two sets of proposed rules issued by the agency to implement significant portions of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

The NGFA did so, it said, because the agency still has not issued proposed regulations implementing the animal feed and pet food provisions of the law, whose requirements are expected to be closely linked and interrelated to the other two rulemakings for which the comment period extension was sought. The two proposed rules, both of which were issued on July 26 with a comment deadline of November 26, involve requiring firms to implement foreign verification programs for imported products and accreditation of third-party auditors.

The NGFA is aiming to extend the comment periods on the two proposed rules for 120 days after publication of the animal feed and pet food proposed rule.

"The ability of the NGFA and other stakeholders to provide constructive, relevant and well-reasoned comments on these two proposed rules will be enhanced greatly if adequate time and opportunity is provided to review and analyze the still-pending animal food proposed rules, as well as the complex interrelationships between the two," the NGFA wrote in its request to FDA. The NGFA also said that the comment period on the animal feed and pet food rules likely will coincide with the Thanksgiving and winter holidays.