papers_406x250The Food and Drug Administration has released draft guidance recommending a common format for the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) form. Last June, FDA published the final rule regarding the VFD, which brings the use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals under veterinary supervision so that they are used only when necessary for assuring animal health. During the rulemaking process, FDA received a few comments requesting that the agency require a uniform VFD form. The agency declined the request as being too prescriptive, but acknowledged that a common VFD format would help clients, veterinarians, and distributors (including feed mills) quickly identify relevant information. Draft guidance for industry #233 entitled, “Veterinary Feed Directive Common Format Questions and Answers,” recommends a common VFD format. The document includes a differentiation between information required to be on the VFD and information that’s discretionary, the order in which information should be presented, and guidance for how sponsors can customize the VFD after FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine has approved it. The Guidance’s appendices include a blank VFD in the recommended common format, along with examples of it pre-populated by the sponsor and subsequently completed by the issuing veterinarian. Members of the public can comment on the guidance at any time, but to ensure that FDA considers comments before issuing the final version of the guidance, comments must be submitted within 60 days. (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)