The Food and Drug Administration has set the effective date of April 27 for the final rule banning feed cattle materials at a high risk of carrying bovine spongiform encephalopathy from all animal feed. The agency also established Oct. 26 as an extended date by which renderers and packers must be in compliance with the rule.
FDA had proposed delaying the April 27 deadline by two months and allowing a week-long comment period. But, industry organizations turned up the volume on concerns about the disposal of prohibited cattle materials and difficulties in modifying operations to comply with the rule. FDA received comments from more than 400 organizations and individuals on the proposed delay of the effective date.
In general, opponents of the delay cited a heightened risk of BSE to U.S. consumers and cattle herds and proponents of the delay cited the need for more time to come up with alternative methods of disposal. The agency noted that the delay would help address such concerns but did not signal any intent to reconsider the final rule.
In its rulemaking, FDA acknowledged that alternative disposal methods for cattle materials prohibited from animal feed and dead stock cattle would be needed for a substantial volume of material that would be diverted from animal feed use by the new requirements. Accordingly, the rule provides a 12 month delayed effective date to allow sufficient time to arrange for alternative disposal.