Animal & Veterinary
AAFCO Framework for Regulatory Action on Commercial Animal Feeds Containing Comfrey
FDA Veterinarian Newsletter March/April 2003 Volume XVIII, No 2
CVM supports recent action by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Inc. (AAFCO) in recommending to State feed control officials that enforcement action be initiated to remove from distribution animal products containing comfrey. AAFCO’s guidance to State feed control officials on March 3, 2003, follows the announcement made at AAFCO’s Annual Meeting in August 2002, that comfrey, determined to be a health and safety concern in animals, is recommended for removal from all animal feeds.
This AAFCO-recommended enforcement event follows a lengthy notification period of informing manufacturers and distributors of animal feeds that many of the ingredients they are using may not be in compliance with Federal and State commercial feed laws. The enforcement event provides a uniform time period for States to begin enforcement action against products containing comfrey. AAFCO intends to followup with States to determine the effectiveness of this event and is likely to recommend enforcement events for other ingredients in the future.
AAFCO’s Enforcement Strategy for Marketed Ingredients Task Force identified comfrey as the target ingredient. This Task Force based its selection on published scientific information provided by the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, an active member of AAFCO. Comfrey has been shown to cause liver damage in humans and in animals. Due to safety concerns, the FDA advised manufacturers on July 6, 2001, that comfrey should not be used in human dietary supplements.
The enforcement event is recommended to State feed control officials to clarify the regulatory status of ingredients sold for consumption by animals in feed, including livestock feed and pet food. All feed ingredients must be shown to be safe and efficacious for their intended use prior to distribution.
AAFCO has developed a fact sheet that reviews the routes available for gaining approval to include new ingredients in animal feeds including the food additive petitions, generally recognized as safe determinations, and establishing a definition in the Official Publication of AAFCO. More information is available in the fact sheet entitled “Options Available for Acceptance of a Proposed Feed Ingredient”, available on the AAFCO web site. Animal feeds are regulated at both the Federal and State level. Feed ingredients not recognized or acceptable for their intended use may be subject to regulatory action by the State feed control officials and the FDA.
For additional information regarding the AAFCO-recommended enforcement activity, please contact Dr. Ali Kashani, AAFCO President, Washington Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 42589, Olympia, WA 98504-2589, telephone (360) 902-2028.