AFIA secures funding for CVM ingredient approvals

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) applauds the passage of bipartisan legislation to fund the federal government for the remainder of the 2020 fiscal year. The legislation, expected to be signed into law by President Trump, not only averts a midnight deadline to shut down the government, but also achieves a very important AFIA policy priority to increase funding for animal food ingredient approvals.

The 2020 fiscal year appropriations package allocates new dollars to the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) to hire additional staff specifically for reviewing new animal food ingredient submissions. The $5 million allocation from appropriators will allow CVM to nearly double ingredient approval staff, which will reduce the length of review time by the agency in the approval timeline.

“AFIA members wait far too long on the government to approve ingredients to bring new products to market,” said Constance Cullman, AFIA’s president and CEO. “In 2019, AFIA went after new funds for CVM through the appropriations process, to make sure they have the resources to hire the staff needed to speed up this cumbersome process. We are excited that this policy priority for our organization and industry is now a reality and we look forward to working with CVM to implement these improvements.”

Cullman added, “As the science of animal nutrition evolves, the animal food industry works hard to research and bring new ingredients to market to improve the health of our food-producing and companion animals. In recent years, the lengthy ingredient review processes have hindered many of these new ingredients with the attributes to improve the safety, quality and nutrition of feed and pet food from entering the marketplace. AFIA has been working hard to improve the ingredient review processes and this funding is one important step in the process. The industry’s international counterparts have moved forward with ingredients approved in their home countries, leaving the U.S. industry behind.”

Ingredient suppliers and animal food manufacturers are regularly hitting costly roadblocks that prevent new innovations from reaching the marketplace. In fact, a study funded by the Institute for Feed Education and Research found that for every year of delay in the approval process, submitting companies across the animal food manufacturing industry were losing an average $1.75 million annually in revenue per ingredient, diminishing their access to capital which could be used for further research and development in the field.