Approval sought for hemp products in broiler feed

Efforts are being made to gain federal approval for hemp products in broiler feed.

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An application has already been filed to gain approval for hemp in layer feed, but Hemp Feed Coalition also wants that same approval for broiler feed

An application to gain federal approval for the use of hemp products in layer feed has already been filed, but efforts are being made to also seek a similar approval for hemp products in broiler feed.

Speaking during the Midwest Poultry Federation (MPF) Virtual Convention, held May 18-21, Andrew Bish, vice president of the Hemp Feed Coalition, discussed the application process.

Hemp products are not approved to be used in animal feed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA-CVM).

But Bish and the organization he spoke on behalf of believes such approval would be a good thing because large-scale production of hemp will create inexpensive byproducts that are valuable as animal feed ingredients. Plus, Bish said, hemp seed meal/cake provides high values of nutrition such as complete protein and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

The coalition submitted the first application to AAFCO for a hemp byproduct to be recognized as an animal feed ingredient in December 2020. The submission to FDA-CVM approval for hempseed cake and meal to be fed to egg laying hens.

Research on the hemp products in feed conducted by Wenger Group, a leading feed and egg company, reported positive findings, no safety concerns and overall improvements in the eggs, he said. Also, in some cases, there were significant improvements with shell thickness, yolk color and fatty acid composition.

Bish said the coalition expects to hear feedback from the FDA-CVM this summer.

At the same time, the coalition intends to add broiler chickens to the meal/cake approval application that has already been submitted. However, Bish said in order for that to happen, there is a need for additional feed trials, but those trials are already funded at Murray State University.

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