Grain operation BioTerror Act record keeping requirement nears

Published 30 January 2006

The different elements of a comprehensive monitoring and regulating the different aspects of the food supply come into effect, step by step

The 9 June deadline looms large for grain elevators and feed mill operators employing 11 to 499 workers: By then they will have to begin to comply with the stringent record-keeping strictures of the Bioterrorism Act of 2002. Facilities with ten or fewer employees have until 11 December to come into compliance. The new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules mean grain elevators, feed mills, grain processors, grain exporters, pet food manufacturers, railroads, barge lines, and truckers must register their facilities. They will have to identify the immediate previous source and the subsequent recipient of food, feed, and other agricultural commodities. Records must be maintained for two years. Jeff Adkisson, CEO of Grain & Feed Association of Illinois, believes grain and feed business owners understand the need for the regulations. FDA officials want to contain any type of feed or grain contamination within forty-eight hours. “We just need to figure out how to comply without getting too mired down in too much specificity,” said Adkisson, whose organization consists of 260 grain and feed facilities. The Illinois Department of Agriculture licenses about 374 companies with 1,055 locations. Adkisson noted that Illinois grain and feed facilities with 500 or more employees had to comply with an early version of the law by 9 December last year.

Lou Carson, FDA deputy director, told feed and grain representatives last month that FDA inspectors may ask a company during a routine visit whether the company is aware of the law and whether the company could respond to a record request within twenty-four hours. Carson said inspectors will not request records unless reasonable belief exists that a food or feed ingredient has been contaminated and presents a serious threat to animal or human health.

-read more in this report; and see information on the 2002 Bioterrorism Act at FDA Web site