Compost containing grocery store meat waste exempt from requirements for supplement products containing prohibited material

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Issue

The exemption of compost containing grocery store meat-cutting waste from new requirements for fertilizers and supplements containing prohibited material.

Background

Under the enhanced feed ban regulations, if a fertilizer or supplement product contains prohibited material (most mammalian proteins with certain exceptions), it must bear four precautionary statements on its product label. The manufacturer of the product must also establish proper recall procedures and keep proper records for 10 years.

As a result, if any input to a composting process is prohibited material, the resulting compost product, if sold, must bear the warning statements and all record keeping and recall requirements must be met. As part of the enhanced feed ban implementation consultation process, various compost producers and grocery store chains in jurisdictions that have banned disposal of organic waste in landfills have expressed their concern regarding disposal of grocery store meat-cutting waste if the resulting compost must follow these requirements. They requested (as is currently the case for compost made from household organic collection waste and restaurant waste) that compost made from grocery store meat-cutting waste be exempted from the above requirements.

A risk assessment was undertaken by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to determine the risk of the spread of BSE from composted grocery store meat-cutting waste. The goal was to determine if compost containing this waste could be exempted from the requirements for fertilizers and supplements containing prohibited material.

Decision

Based on the risk assessment, performed by the Animal Health Risk Assessment Unit of the CFIA, composted grocery store meat-cutting waste poses a negligible risk of transmitting BSE. Therefore, the Fertilizer Program has decided to exempt compost containing grocery store meat-cutting waste from the requirements for fertilizers and supplements containing prohibited material.

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