This article is from NGFA's June 9th newsletter.

Senators introduced a bill this week that would establish a new pathway at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for novel feed additives to increase livestock efficiency and production.

NGFA endorsed the Innovative Feed Enhancement and Economic Development (FEED) Act of 2023 (S.1842), sponsored by Sens. Roger Marshall, R-KS; Tammy Baldwin, D-WI; Jerry Moran, R-KS; and Michael Bennet, D-CO.

In a statement published by the office of Sen. Marshall, NGFA noted that the Innovative FEED Act would modernize the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to enable innovative products to reach the market and advance improvements in food safety.

“We strongly endorse this bill that would promote the availability of animal food products with novel benefits, such as improving the environment and reducing human foodborne illness,” said David Fairfield, NGFA senior vice president of feed.

In the lawmakers’ announcement, they note that Europe, Asia, and South America have updated their policies to have feed products on the market that demonstrate increased efficiency in meat production as well as byproduct and waste reduction.

“For example, there are products that could address heat stress in livestock, products that would reduce nitrogen and phosphorus in manure to help feedlot operators comply with federal and state regulations, products to reduce the presence of food-borne pathogens in animal feed, or even to reduce the amount of ammonia in swine manure reducing its smell,” they said.

The FDA recently acknowledged that some animal food products do not fit clearly within the agency’s two existing categories – animal drug or animal food.

NGFA participated in a virtual listening session on the issue held by FDA in 2022. NGFA’s comments made during the session and subsequently submitted to the docket urged FDA to modernize its policies to allow animal food manufacturers to make truthful, non-misleading production, environmental and well-being claims for animal foods that have been substantiated to provide such benefits in a more efficient manner.

Historically, FDA has required animal foods with such claims to gain approval as animal drugs. In contrast, the Innovative FEED Act would allow products with these claims to gain approval as feed additives, a more efficient and predictable process.

In addition to establishing a new pathway for manufacturers to receive approval for feed additives, the Innovative FEED Act also establishes guardrails to ensure only qualifying products are eligible for this pathway while also ensuring products are safe to use.