The Food and Drug Administration is seeking input on its regulation of animal feed that's marketed with environmental claims and has scheduled a virtual listening session on the topic for Oct. 18.

FDA said it’s currently reviewing its policy manual, “Regulating Animal Foods with Drug Claims,” and is looking for comments on how to update it "to reflect evolving scientific knowledge and promote innovation policy on feed.”

Critics of FDA’s process for reviewing feed ingredients, including the hemp industry and several Capitol Hill lawmakers, say the process is too lengthy and cumbersome. FDA Commissioner Robert Califf pledged at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing last month that the agency would review the policy manual.

The session will focus on the regulation of foods “with certain types of claims,” FDA said, including those involving greenhouse gas reductions, growth promotion, feed efficiency, as well as claims about effects on the animal microbiome.

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The manual says that “based upon the claims made for these articles, their intended uses may bring them within the definition of a drug under Section 201(g).  In such instances, the articles may, as a matter of law, be both a food and a drug simultaneously.”

Stakeholders interested in attending the virtual listening session should register before noon on Oct. 11. Comments also are being accepted at FDA’s online docket.

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