Recently, the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine released a new version of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy inspection checklist, www.fda.gov/cvm/index/bse/bse_checklist.htm. Federal and state inspectors will use the checklist to determine compliance with the FDA ban on the use of mammalian protein in ruminant animal feed.
The 1997 ban was implemented in an effort to protect the United States from BSE and, currently, it, along with protections implemented by the Department of Agriculture, appears effective—to date, the disease has not been identified in U.S. cattle. An update on FDA enforcement activities regarding the disease, however, shows that some segments of the feed industry are not fully complying with the ban.
Of the 2,153 firms handling materials subject to the ruminant feed ban, five percent were found to be out of compliance as of March 11.
Reinspection of the noncompliant firms revealed that one percent were still noncompliant. Firms that have corrected their problems have done so in a number of ways. These include eliminating the prohibited materials from their operations, retraining employees, developing systems to prevent commingling, relabeling products, and improving record keeping.
The FDA's ruminant feed regulations can be accessed at www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_01/21cfr589_01.html.