Today, the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) applauds the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) for passing by a 19-2 bipartisan vote an amendment that includes language from S. 1842, the Innovative Feed Enhancement and Economic Development Act of 2023 (or “Innovative FEED Act”).

This language will modernize the Food and Drug Administration’s process for regulating novel feed ingredients, which act on animals’ gut microbiomes to bring about production, food safety and environmental benefits.

Upon the underlying bill’s passage out of committee, AFIA President and CEO Constance Cullman said:

“Growing bipartisan support for a legislative solution proves that our nation’s elected officials are committed to bringing feed innovation to America’s farmers and ranchers.

"Now, our producers will soon be able to reap the benefits of feed products which contribute to improved animal nutrition, production and food safety and reduced environmental impacts, while competing in a global marketplace that has already marched on without the United States.

“On behalf of the AFIA and over 135 food and agriculture organizations and companies, we thank Senators Roger Marshall, R-KS, and Tammy Baldwin, D-WI, for introducing this amendment, and HELP Committee Chair Bernie Sanders, D-VT, and Ranking Member Bill Cassidy, R-LA, for ushering it forward and urge the full Senate to quickly vote in favor of the legislation.”

For years, the AFIA has been calling on the FDA to modernize its outdated 1998 Policy and Procedures Manual Guide 1240.3605. This outdated guide has effectively blocked animal food manufacturers from clearly labeling their feed products with the non-nutritive benefits they may bring about unless they are reviewed through the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine’s cumbersome drug approval process.

Without congressional approval, the FDA contends it does not have the authority to regulate these products as food ingredients. The Innovative FEED Act would change this by creating a category for zootechnical animal food substances, regulating these products as food ingredients, not animal drugs, and bringing the FDA policy into the 21st century.

Farmers in dozens of countries are already safely using these innovative feed ingredients, yielding results in terms of improved animal production and well-being, diminished pre-harvest food safety concerns and reduced environmental impact of livestock production. Without this legislative change, U.S. agriculture is at a competitive disadvantage to its international counterparts.