Comfrey Enforcement Event to Begin March 3

The Association of American Feed Control Officials, Inc. (AAFCO) has recommended a nationwide enforcement event for comfrey in animal feeds to begin on March 3, 2003. At the AAFCO Annual Meeting in August 2002, AAFCO announced 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.

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 USFDA Center for Veterinary Medicine. Comfrey has been shown to cause liver damage in humans and in animals. Due to safety concerns, the USFDA advised manufacturers on July 6, 2001 that comfrey should not be used in human dietary supplements.

The enforcement event is recommended to 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. Several methods for meeting this requirement have been summarized in an ingredient fact sheet entitled "Options Available for Acceptance of a Proposed Feed Ingredient", available on the AAFCO Website at  Feed ingredients not recognized or acceptable for their intended use may be subject to regulatory action by the feed control official and the USFDA.
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, 360/902-2028.

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