AAFCO Takes Action Against Feeds Containing Kava

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) announced to its members and to the feed industry on Aug. 4 that kava should not be used as an ingredient in animal feeds. An enforcement strategy event for kava in animal feeds, recommended to begin on Dec. 2, follows a notification period informing manufacturers and distributors of animal feed that many of the ingredients they are using might not be in compliance with federal and state commercial feed laws.

Kava is purported to induce relaxation in horses.

AAFCO's Enforcement Strategy for Marketed Ingredients (ESMI) Working Group identified kava as a feed ingredient that could pose a health and safety concern when consumed by animals. The ESMI Working Group based its selection on published scientific information provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Veterinary Medicine. Kava is banned in Canada and in some European countries due to reports of serious side effects in humans, primarily liver damage. A public health advisory for kava was issued by the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition on March 25, 2002.

The enforcement strategy 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 web site at www.aafco.org. Feed ingredients not recognized or acceptable for their intended use might be subject to regulatory action by state feed control officials and the FDA.

For additional information regarding the enforcement event, please contact Ben L. Jones, AAFCO President, Feed & Fertilizer Control Service, Office of the Texas State Chemist, PO Box 3160, College Station, Texas 77841-3160, or call 979/845-1121.

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