Since enactment of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (the “2018 Farm Bill”), confusion has run rampant over when and where hemp or hemp produced cannabidiol (CBD) can legally be used. Animal food and feed are no exception. Developments at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the actions taken by the Association of Animal Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), should be of particular interest to animal feed and pet food manufacturers interested in expanding into the so-called green rush.  Industry participants should take notice of these changes and evaluate the impact they have on their businesses.
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a draft guidance to advise food manufacturers of its intent to exercise enforcement discretion for the name “potassium chloride salt” in the ingredient statement on food labels as an alternative to the common or usual name “potassium chloride.” Potassium chloride is often used as a partial substitute for sodium chloride (i.e. salt) in many foods.

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Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration held a meeting to discuss its regulatory approach to products that contain cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, including cannabidiol (CBD). The public hearing was intended to obtain scientific data and information about the safety, manufacturing, product quality, marketing, labeling and sale of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds. Along with holding the public meeting, FDA is accepting written comments through a docket on those topics until July 1, 2019. 
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The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) recently issued an industry circular which makes clear that cannabidiol (CBD), a product derived from hemp, is not permitted in alcohol beverages.

TTB generally consults with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when establishing whether an ingredient for use in an alcoholic beverage is safe.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has proposed to eliminate requirements that certain meat and poultry products display net weights using a dual declaration format (i.e. requiring that some products declare weight in both pounds and ounces). The proposal would remove the dual net weight declaration for meat or poultry

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that it will not begin inspecting food facilities until March 2020 to verify compliance with the Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration regulations at 21 C.F.R. part 121, also known as the Intentional Adulteration (IA) rule. FDA has determined this additional time is

Recombinant bovine somatotropin (RBST) is an artificial growth hormone fed to cattle for the purpose of increasing their production of milk. The FDA has twice found that RBST is safe and effective for its intended uses and that the milk produced by such cattle is not significantly different from milk produced by untreated cattle.  The

On June 13, Husch Blackwell’s Food & Agribusiness industry team presented a seminar in Denver, CO spotlighting industry finance and investment trends and regulatory developments. More than 50 professionals attended the seminar, representing ag processing, food distribution, ag production and industry-focused lenders and investors. The morning started off with Jim Ash, Husch Blackwell’s Food & Agribusiness industry team leader, moderating a panel focused on industry trends. The panelists included –

The panel discussion kicked off by discussing the current consumer trends and whether or not the current trends are considered sustainable. The panel agreed the importance of food safety is top of mind with consumers and food company executives alike. Healthy alternatives, convenience and transparency in labeling were also noted as important to consumers. Consumer demand for new products with unique flavorings is resulting in small, nimble companies being rewarded. An example of this is the growth in the craft beer industry.

The panel turned their attention to consolidation within the industry. The panelists agreed the mega-deals would likely continue over the next 18-24 months, but smaller deals at the other end of the spectrum would also continue, highlighting the importance of companies being nimble and responsive to the market. For smaller companies within the industry, 75% of the deals were for strategic reasons compared to an average across all industries of 50%. Technology advances and the need for innovation were also mentioned as driving consolidation. European companies are looking to North America for investment because of perceived opportunity.

Commodity pricing and the impact on the industry was discussed next. Over the long-term the prices for commodities are expected to rise, however in the short-term there will be continued downward pressure until there is a significant correction, which will likely be driven by a weather event. Pricing is driven by supply and demand and in the short-term there is an excess supply; however, long-term commodity demand will be driven by rising world-wide socio-economic status increasing demand for protein, which is a more inefficiently produced food source. The current excess supply is the result of technology advances resulting in improved yields and the absence of a significant weather event over the past several years.
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