PFI discusses pet food policies and priorities in the Trump administration.
Advocating for product safety
The Trump administration has brought to Washington a legislative and regulatory agenda that includes new objectives to regulations, budget and trade. The Pet Food Institute (PFI) is actively engaged with administration policymakers and regulators on initiatives that could impact pet food and treat production in these regards.
Whether on Capitol Hill, at the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the US Department of Agriculture or state agencies across the country that regulate pet food, PFI is advocating for risk-based policies and regulations that support product safety.
Food safety enforcement
Congress is currently in discussions and negotiations on annual funding for FDA, the regulatory agency charged with enforcing compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Under FSMA, pet food and treat makers are required to develop and implement Current Good Manufacturing Practices at manufacturing facilities. In addition, they are required to identify and evaluate known or foreseeable hazards in the manufacturing process, establish preventive controls for those hazards and document those actions accordingly.
Inspectors from FDA have initiated FSMA compliance and enforcement activities, and are visiting pet food and treat facilities to ensure they are meeting FSMA requirements. In order to ensure regulatory transparency and predictability for pet food and treat makers, it is critical that FDA have adequate funding to properly train their inspectors. As budget discussions for the agency continue, PFI will remain vocal in advocating that FDA and state agencies receive the funding they need to carryout FSMA compliance and enforcement activities effectively.
The Trump administration recently gave notice to Congress of its intention to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The success of the US food and agriculture sectors is to a large extent attributable to free trade agreements such as NAFTA. Among the nations with which the US has free trade agreements, Canada and Mexico are the first and second export markets for US feed and feed ingredients, including pet food. These two countries alone account for nearly half of all American pet food exports annually.
PFI have identified ways in which this 23-year- old agreement can be modernized and enhanced, without endangering the gains NAFTA has provided to US food and agriculture producers and exporters. These proposed updates to NAFTA include adopting or incorporating the World Trade Organization Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards Agreement, and developing and implementing a NAFTA e-certificate system that would make the export process more efficient, via internet commerce.
Educating and advocating
Each incoming presidential administration brings new priorities, objectives and personnel to Washington, DC. PFI is currently educating and advocating for science-based policies and regulations that support the manufacture of pet food, and we will continue to share with the Trump administration our vision for US pet food and treat production and trade.
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