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Regulatory Systems Support

NIFA administers funding to programs that conduct research and provide information on plants and animals in relation to regulatory standards. The three programs involved are the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank (FARAD), The Minor Use Animal Drug Program (MUADP), IR-4 ("Inter-Regional Project #4").

Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank

NIFA administers the funding that establishes and maintains FARAD, a computer-based decision support system designed to provide livestock producers, extension specialists, and veterinarians with practical information on how to avoid drug, pesticide, and environmental contaminant residue problems. The drugs and pesticides used in modern animal agriculture improve animal health and thereby promote more efficient and humane production. Please reference the FARAD main page for more information.


USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) funds the IR-4 Program, which was established more than 50 years ago and is headquartered at Rutgers University. The IR-4 funds laboratories that test pesticides intended to protect specialty crops. That testing generates data that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires for pesticide registration. Without the help of IR-4, the cost of the research required for pesticide registration for specialty crops would be prohibitive.

The IR-4 is a collaboration among NIFA, land-grant universities, USDA's Agricultural Research Service and Foreign Agricultural Service, EPA, Department of Defense, specialty crop growers, and industry. The IR-4 helps growers increase yields of higher quality products and harmonizes regulatory standards that enhance international trade. According to a 2012 report, the program supports more than 104,000 U.S. jobs and adds $7.2 billion to the gross domestic product annually. Please reference the NIFA page for IR4 for additional information.

Minor Use Animal Drugs Program

The Minor Use Animal Drug Program (MUADP) is designed to address the shortage of minor use animal drugs by funding and overseeing the efficacy, animal safety, and human food safety research and environmental assessment required for drug approval. The scope of the program includes animals of agricultural importance and generally excludes companion animals. The program coordinates with animal producers, drug manufacturers, FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), The U.S. Department of Agriculture/Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (USDA/NIFA), other government agencies, universities, State Agricultural Experiment Stations, and veterinary schools to get the job done. In addition to funding research, MUADP periodically holds special workshops, and to provide a forum for exchange of ideas among minor species producers, drug manufacturers, researchers, and government agencies on approaches to disease problems and drug priorities.

Farm bill priority areas
Plant health, production, and products
Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health

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