The last Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee (VMAC) meeting was in 2010. The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine assembled the group of independent experts retained as special government employees to offer opinion on animal drug and food issues, but the FDA says the committee only met six times in the last decade. With an announcement today by the FDA, the VMAC was disbanded Sept. 24.
The committee, formed in 1984, was originally tasked with evaluating available data concerning safety and effectiveness of marketed and investigational new animal drugs, feeds and devices for use in the treatment and prevention of animal diseases and increased animal production. The FDA release says the Center for Veterinary Medicine will now utilize other forums, such as public meetings, to seek expert and public opinion on regulatory matters. “For example, the center is currently taking part in an open public meeting on the proposed Preventive Controls for Animal Food rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act, and earlier in 2013 held five listening sessions around the country on the issue of antimicrobial resistance in animal agriculture,” the agency states.
The CVM believes that the advisory committee is no longer necessary because of opportunities for input at public meetings and other outlets. The CVM continues to encourage public input through the federal register on proposed rules, draft guidance documents for industry and other calls for public comment. The disbanding will also eliminate the $164,843 estimated annual cost for operating the apparently unecessary committee.
The terms of the members of the VMAC listed on the FDA’s website all ended Oct. 31, 2012. Members included Michael D. Apley, DVM, PhD, associate professor in the department of clinical sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University; David F. Senior, ACVIMN-SA, ECVIM, associate dean for advancement and strategic initiatives at the School of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University; Robert H. Poppenga, DVM, PhD, professor of clinical toxicology at the California Animal Health and Food Safety Lab at the School of Veterinary Medicine, UC-Davis; and Paul C. Stromberg, DVM, PhD, professor of veterinary pathology in the department of veterinary biosciences at Ohio State University. The page had not been updated since October 2012 and stated at the time that there were eight vacancies on the committee.