FDA finds more evidence of BSE compliance problems

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Almost one-fourth of the feed facilities that handle mammalian protein—banned in ruminant feed to prevent the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy—do not comply with federal rules designed to enforce this ban, the FDA-CVM announced in July.

The findings were based on CVM inspection reports from 9,867 renderers, feed mills, feed mixers, and other firms that might handle the banned protein.

Of those facilities, 2,653 handled mammalian protein in their operations, and 22 percent of those had at least one violation. Infractions included improper labeling, inadequate record keeping, and lack of a system to prevent banned material from commingling with other material.

The worst offenders were feed mills that are not required to have an FDA license.

Of the 1,580 unlicensed feed mills that handled materials prohibited for use in ruminant feed, 27 percent did not comply with one or more of the regulations.

Of the licensed feed mills inspected, 17 percent of the 435 firms handling prohibited material were found to be noncompliant, and 14 percent of the 183 renderers dealing with the proteins had compliance problems.

The CVM will re-inspect the facilities that did not comply with all the rules. As of June 12, the agency had completed 1,251 re-inspections, and 8 percent of the facilities still did not adhere to the rules.

The others came into compliance by training employees about the regulations, correcting errors in labeling and recording keeping, or eliminating the prohibited proteins from their business.

More information on BSE inspections, including an updated list of individual facilities and their inspection records, is available at www.fda.gov/cvm/efoi/InpectionListDescriptionforHP.doc.