CFIA and Health Canada launched a consultation on criteria for antibiotic alternative products
By Kate Ayers
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada are requesting feedback on classification of viable microbial products (VMPs) for use in livestock.
VMPs may play a role in reducing the use of antibiotics in livestock production by promoting gut health.
These products are fed to livestock and contain live microorganisms (bacteria, yeast or fungi) that have beneficial effects on the animals, the Government of Canada website says.
Currently, these VMPs are categorized as a veterinary drug due to their label claims or modes of action. However, the government is making the classification of these products more flexible and providing alternative pathways for product registration.
CFIA and Health Canada recognize, however, that the mode of action for VMPs may involve modifying gut microflora and the gut environment. So, these agencies are considering the removal of the classification as veterinary drugs in some cases, the website says.
VMPs could contain one of three claims:
- therapeutic claims
- general health claims
- feed claims
The proposed claim is a key consideration for classification.
For some VMPs, other criteria beyond modes of action may need to be examined to determine classification, the website said. These criteria include: strength, dosage and conditions of use.
The consultation period began on May 7 and runs until July 5, a CFIA release said last week.
Producers are asked to review Appendix E-2: Viable microbial products (VMPs) and provide feedback on the proposed classification criteria for these health products.
The guidance document on the classification of veterinary drugs can be found here.
Consultation details and comment submission information can be accessed here.
RGtimeline/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo