The Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc. prefers the Department of Agriculture and its attached agency the Bureau of Animal Industry to have jurisdiction on the registration, issuance of permits, inspection and testing of animal feeds and ingredients and veterinary drugs and medicine.
The impasse on whether the Department of Health and its attached agency the Food and Drug Authority should take over these functions is of great concern to the feed milling industry as the standoff puts at risk the animal industry’s response to the Asian Swine Flu and Avian Influenza that is threatening the country’s poultry and hog population.
“The DA and BAI have been performing the functions of registering, testing, inspecting and issuing permits to the animal feeds industry and veterinary drugs and medicine; and BAI’s staff of veterinarians and animal nutritionists are well-trained, equipped and have had many years if not decades of experience in animal sciences and veterinary medicine. It is therefore just appropriate that they be given the authority to oversee these functions permanently,” PAFMIL said in a statement .
I added: “While the feeds and animal raising industries have the highest regard on the capability of the FDA in overseeing the food and health products industry, their expertise and training are on overseeing and ensuring the safety of food products, drugs, cosmetics and medicines for human consumption. FDA has no experience, expertise, training nor equipment for testing of products for animal consumption.”
The feed milling and animal industries believe that it “is best to let BAI’s veterinarians and animal nutritionists to have jurisdiction over products for the animal sector; and FDA’s doctors and toxicologists and health experts to have control over products for human consumption”.
PAFMIL noted that the whole country “is facing the worst pandemic the we have ever seen, and we are hopeful that the government will finally be able to control the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease pandemic soon”.
The Deparrtment fo Health and the FDA are at the forefront of this effort and to burden these agencies with the additional task of overseeing veterinary feeds and medicines would be putting more load on their shoulders and thus make their fight against Covid19 even more difficult.
As the jurisdictional impasse remains unresolved, the feed milling sector, veterinary medicine industry and the hog and poultry raisers groups are left in in quandary not knowing which agency to approach for permits and other concerns.
“Delays in the release of imported veterinary drugs and feed ingredients may also occur and lead to unnecessary costs due to this turf issue as the Bureau of Customs would require release documents from whichever agency that has the authority to do so,” PAFMIL said.
The feed milling industry thus reiterates and requests that this jurisdictional issue between DA and DoH be resolved soon in favor of the DA and its attached agency the BAI.