FDA officially delays feed ban implementation

FDA officially delays feed ban implementation

By Tom Johnston on 4/7/2009

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

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.”