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FDA to set pet-food warning system, labeling guidelines

Article

Washington - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must establish an early-warning and surveillance system by this fall to identify adulteration of the nation's pet-food supply and any future outbreaks of illness associated with pet foods.

Washington — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must establish an early-warning and surveillance system by this fall to identify adulteration of the nation's pet-food supply and any future outbreaks of illness associated with pet foods.

Under the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007, the FDA also must ensure efficient and effective communication to the public in the event of a pet-food, or human-food, recall and work with the companies involved to collect and post information on its Web site in a single location "that is easily accessed and understood by the public."

The new amendments also give the FDA two years to update pet-food labeling guidelines that include accurate nutritional and ingredient information, and to update food-processing standards.

The pet-food provisions — Congress' response to last year's massive pet-food recall and the Congressional hearings that followed — are included in a much broader piece of legislation, signed into law by President Bush on Sept. 27, that strengthens the FDA's oversight of pharmaceuticals already on the market.

The bill earlier passed the House on a 405-7 vote and the Senate by a unanimous vote.

The Pet Food Institute (PFI), which represents U.S. pet-food manufacturers, says it is analyzing the pet-food provisions and working with the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine to determine their implications for the industry.

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