Home » FDA to withdraw Policy on Animal Feed Additives, Slashing Red Tape for Startups

FDA to withdraw Policy on Animal Feed Additives, Slashing Red Tape for Startups

by Rafiat Damilola Ogunyemi
FDA to withdraw Policy on Animal Feed Additives, Slashing Red Tape for Startups
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced its intention to revoke a policy governing the approval of animal feed additives. Thereby opening up the market for startups that focus on supplements to reduce cattle emissions or enhance food safety.
  •  While producers commonly use additives such as probiotics and prebiotics to boost animal health, livestock producers are now under pressure to take action on sustainability. This has led to the emergence of a new class of startups focused on reducing emissions through changes to animal diets.
  • One such startup, CH4 Global, has developed a seaweed-based supplement to reduce methane from cow burps. The company stated that the FDA’s policy on additives had caused multi-year approval delays. The agency’s withdrawal is a “major milestone for U.S. agriculture” that brings the company closer to commercializing its product.

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made public its plan to remove a policy governing the endorsement of animal feed additives. This decision opens the door for startups specialising in supplements focused on diminishing cattle emissions or improving food safety.

The FDA’s Centre for Veterinary Medicine is set to withdraw its policy manual for overseeing additives. They are originally designed to know whether supplements should be categorized as food or drugs. This step is part of a broader administrative initiative to simplify the approval process for innovative feed additives.

Collaborating with Congress, the FDA is working towards establishing a transparent regulatory pathway for additives that mitigate pathogens, influence byproducts of the digestive process, or affect the animal’s microbiome. In December, lawmakers introduced the Innovative FEED Act. They are seeking to establish a new classification for animal feed and provide manufacturers with clearer regulatory guidance.

(Read also: Seeds: Weighing the Cost of Cultivating Genetically Modified (GM) Crops)

Image Source: Feednavigator

While producers commonly use additives such as probiotics and prebiotics to boost animal health, livestock producers are now under pressure to take action on sustainability. This has led to the emergence of a new class of startups focused on reducing emissions through changes to animal diets.

One such startup, CH4 Global, has developed a seaweed-based supplement to reduce methane from cow burps. The company stated that the FDA’s policy on additives has caused multi-year approval delays. The agency’s withdrawal is a “major milestone for U.S. agriculture” that brings the company closer to commercializing its product.

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“Regulatory advancements such as the recent one made by the FDA will open new doors for products like ours, enabling us to contribute more significantly to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, empower farmers to unlock new revenue streams, and support sustainable farming practices,” the company said in a statement.

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