Makes a Move on Food Safety

FDA officially delays feed ban


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By Tom Johnston on 4/7/2009


The Food and Drug Administration announced it has officially delayed for 60 days the 2008 BSE final rule prohibiting the use of certain cattle materials in feed for all animals. The effective date is pushed back to June 26 from April 27.

Additionally, FDA has allowed for a seven-day comment period, although the agency has stipulated that comments be confined to discussion on whether to delay the effective date rather than the merits of the ban itself. The agency said comments must be submitted within seven days of publication of the proposed delay in the Federal Register.

Industry groups have been pressing FDA to allow more time for their constituents, packers and renders among them, to come into compliance with the law. Primarily at issue is the rule's prohibition of rendering the spinal cords and brains of cattle more than 30 months of age, which forces such stakeholders to find alternative, often costly methods of disposal.

Among the rule's critics is the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, which said FDA needs to allow adequate time for the agency to consider the problems the ban is causing.

"Members of Congress and the Senate have joined NCBA in petitioning the FDA to reopen the rule itself for public comment so that the peope impacted by the rule can share their stories," NCBA Chief Veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Parker said in a statement. "Instead, the FDA is only allowing seven days of comments on whether to delay the implementation of the rule by 60 days. This is a weak and ineffective response to the issues already arising from this ill-considered action."


Written comments on the issue are due on or before April 16 to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Electronic comments may be submitted to Identify all submissions to the docket with the following docket number: FDA2002N0031 (formerly Docket No. 2002N0273).

FDA said questions may be directed to Burt Pritchett, Center for Veterinary Medicine (HFV-22), FDA, 7519 Standish Place, Rockville, MD 20855, 240-453-6860,




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