FDA awards grants for ruminant feed ban

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Dec 12, 2008
by WLJ
FDA awards grants for ruminant feed ban

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently awarded 17 grants totaling $5.2 million to enhance food and feed safety. The grants fund cooperative agreements in four major areas, including a ruminant feed ban support program.

Iowa, Mississippi, North Carolina and Washington received grants to enhance compliance with the ruminant feed ban. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has been involved in meetings with FDA and USDA on the ruminant feed ban and has voiced concerns over increased costs and disposal issues. Additionally, there is no scientific evidence that the ruminant food ban leads to increased food safety.

According to a USDA report, the ban was estimated to cost the U.S. private sector approximately $53 million per year, including $44 million in direct compliance costs to the beef, rendering, and byproduct industries. The report, available from USDA’s Economic Research Service, also notes that, “renderers, who once picked up dead animals for free, become less inclined to pick up animals that cannot be rendered or will pick them up only at costs estimated at $100 or more per head.” — WLJ