The American Feed Industry Association's (AFIA) Food Safety Modernization Act Working Groups on Hazard Identification/Preventive Controls and Records/Registration met in Tampa on January 16-17 to answer more than 40 questions posed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in its proposed rules for Current Good Manufacturing Practices and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals - also known as the FSMA animal food rule.

Eight sub-groups have been formed to focus on the following areas of concern: preventive controls; hazard analysis; good manufacturing practices; pet food; supplier selection; environmental testing/monitoring; end product testing; and records.

Bruce Meier of Cargill Animal Nutrition chairs the Hazard ID/Preventive Controls Working Group and Scott Ringger of JBS United chairs the Records Working Group. AFIA staff members met before the meeting with Meiers and Ringger to coordinate the sub-working group efforts and separate upwards of 40 FDA proposed rule questions into the sub-group areas for discussion and consensus. AFIA hopes the meeting will result in the framework for comments to the rules that will slowly evolve as work on the comments progresses throughout January and February.


"Our timeline has the draft comments in final form in early March with the AFIA legal counsel reviewing them and returning suggested comments by March 7. This will allow us to send the final draft to the relevant committees and member interest groups during the week of March 10, with comments back to AFIA by March 14," said Richard Sellers, AFIA's senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs.

"The following week would be spent reviewing comments, holding calls with the Working Groups to agree or disagree with any suggested comments and finalizing the comments for final review by AFIA's legislative and regulatory team and attorneys the last week of March," added Sellers.

Comments will be filed on March 31, the new deadline set by FDA for comments.