WASHINGTON (CN) - The Food and Drug Administration has proposed new regulations meant to help ensure that food for pets, and for animals consumed by people, is free from contaminants.
The action comes under the Food Safety Modernization Act, which aims to protect the public health by helping to ensure the safety and security of the human and animal food supply.
In 2007, a nationwide epidemic of pet illnesses and deaths triggered a massive pet food recall. The problem was traced back to two protein suppliers in China, according to the action.
The proposed regulations aim to prevent similar events by implementing a system of preventive controls similar to those mandated for facilities that handle human food.
Animal facilities required to register with the FDA under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act would be subject to the regulations. It means any company that is in the business of handling food for animals, whether for pets or for animals meant for human consumption, would be subject to the new regulations.
The agency says manufacturers that supply ingredients for animal feed would also be expected to comply. "Some industry sectors, such as renderers, and grain and oilseed processors have long been considered animal food manufacturers and would be subject to the proposed rule," the action noted.
The proposed changes focus on preventing contamination before it happens instead of addressing issues as they occur.
Contamination can include bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease), chronic wasting disease (a form of spongiform encephalopathy that affects deer, elk and moose), mycotoxins (mold), dioxins, melamine and microbial contamination in pet foods, according to the FDA.
Comments are due by Feb. 26, 2014.
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