National Animal Supplement Council Submits Proposal

The supplement manufacturing industry has submitted a proposal to federal regulatory agencies that includes provisions for establishing common industry standards for manufacturing processes, allowing focus toward finished product safety through an adverse event reporting system, and limiting unsubstantiated labeling claims. These standards are now being vigorously demanded by the various state and federal agencies.

The National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) is a not-for-profit, industry-funded trade association serving manufacturers of nutritional products for small animals as well as horses. Working very closely with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), the Food & Drug Administration, Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA/CVM), and other trade associations such as the National Association of Equine Supplement Manufacturers (NAESM), NASC submitted the proposal.

The Compliance Plus proposal was submitted as a response to AAFCO's plan--spelled out on their Internet website at orchestrate and recommend nation-wide enforcement strategy beginning in April 2002. The Enforcement Strategy is scheduled to be carried out by AAFCO state agriculture department members selecting a single ingredient that is not recognized or accepted for use in animal feeds. The enforcement event is targeted to seek compliance with existing federal and state laws and regulations. These activities may impact all channels of distribution and sale of products within the participating states.

Additionally, the NASC also seeks to gain formal approval for the sale of certain novel ingredients that are deemed to be not accepted or recognized by many state agriculture departments. The NASC seeks to ease the approval process for member companies by collectively funding among NASC members clinical data on safety for certain ingredients with ongoing member-sponsored research initiatives. The association also serves as a clearing house for relevant information, and an industry voice for legislation and regulations of various kinds.

Bill Bookout, president of NASC comments; "In all of our discussions with the representatives of AAFCO and FDA/CVM it is clear that both industry and the regulators have common goals. We want the products in the marketplace to be quality products, with the reasonable expectation of safety for the animal and provide consistency for everyone. Although the solutions may not be easy, we are confident that a solid foundation has been established for constructive progress."

The Compliance Plus proposal was submitted to John Breitsman, President of AAFCO in early April and according to Bookout he commented as follows, "We wanted dialogue with industry and believe this a good first step. The Compliance Plus proposal is being taken seriously and there is obviously merit in the proposal. We feel a positive outcome can be achieved if we are all willing to make it happen."

Further Bookout comments, "We are pleased with the response from AAFCO to the Compliance Plus proposal and feel great about the progress that has been made. Everyone realizes that consumers want these products and we are optimistic about working cooperatively with the agencies to meet the objectives of all stakeholders." The Compliance Plus proposal can be viewed in its entirety, along with other NASC initiatives and membership information on the NASC web site—

 What can you, as a concerned horse owner, do to help? Contact your state AAFCO feed control official and let them know you support the NASC proposal and as a stakeholder you appreciate their efforts to work toward a viable solution with industry that does not interrupt the supply of products while providing the confidence in safety and quality. The feed control official in your state can be identified on the AAFCO web site

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