Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) held its annual meeting
in Portland, Oregon, USA, July 31 through August 2, 2010. The Pet Food
Committee (PFC) session generated many newsworthy items. Other news from the
AAFCO meeting will appear in next month’s column.
issue of calorie content statements provoked the liveliest discussion. The
report of the Working Group for Weight Related Terms and Calories was
previously accepted by PFC at the “mid-year” meeting last January, but time
constraints limited discussion of the report itself. At this meeting, the floor
was open to discussion of the report’s recommendations.
recommendations included amendment to AAFCO Model Regulation PF9 (Statements of
Calorie Content) that would require calorie content statements on all dog and
cat food labels (with minor exceptions), not just “lite” or “less calorie”
products as currently required. The amendments to PF9 would also stipulate
declaration both in terms of kilocalories of metabolizable energy per kilogram
and per common household unit (e.g., cups, cans, biscuits) and add language to
the label statement when calories are determined by the digestibility trial
the report also recommended simplifying the requirement for data from which
calories are determined by the calculation method and eliminated the need for
the value declared in the calorie statement determined by a digestibility trial
to be within 15% of the calculation method. So, while a broader range of
products would be affected by the amended regulation, the capacity for both compliance
by manufacturers and enforcement by feed control officials would be facilitated.
report’s recommendations also included amendment of PF10 (Descriptive Terms) to
specify requirements for labels bearing “weight management” and “weight
control” claims. After extended debate, PFC voted in favor of the report’s recommendations
intends to discuss some nuances in the regulatory language at the next meeting,
after which the proposed amendments are expected to move to the Model Bill
& Regulations Committee to review them for consistency with current Model
language. The proposed amendments would eventually need to be voted on by the board
of directors and full AAFCO membership before enacted. After enactment, a sufficient
grace period to allow for revision of affected labels is expected and
new AAFCO website designed to help small manufacturers understand and comply
with labeling and other regulatory requirements was revealed at the meeting. It
is intended to become a one-stop shop to help answer many of the questions from
companies that often burden feed control officials. The demonstration of the
new site received great applause from the audience.
Small Manufacturing Working Group is still adding final touches, so the website
is not accessible to the public at this time. It is likely to go online later
this fall, after which more details will be provided in this column. A
similarly constructed website to help address the questions of consumers is
also in the works.
three subgroups under the Nutrient Profiles and Feeding Protocols Expert Panel
have completed their respective tasks in drafting recommendations for changes
to dog and cat food nutritional adequacy requirements, it was reported. The panel
as a whole has not finished with its internal review, however. The panel chair
indicated the report will be brought forward to PFC by the mid-year meeting,
ready or not.
was no news regarding development of federal petfood regulations as mandated by
the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007. The act was in part an
outcome of US Congressional hearings regarding the melamine-related recalls
earlier that year.
Feed Labeling Committee accepted new proposed regulations to allow for claims
relating to dietary starch, sugars and fructans content on animal feed labeling
at the last mid-year meeting. However, the proposed amendment that is moving
forward expressly exempts petfoods.
While recommendations for similar claims on
petfood labels were also developed, there was no consensus, so the matter has
been forwarded to PFC for further deliberation. To that end, a new working
group under PFC has been formed to deliberate on possible carbohydrate-related
claims on petfood labels.
labeling workshop announced
has announced a new workshop on petfood labeling, scheduled for January 17,
2011, the day before the next AAFCO mid-year meeting in St. Pete Beach, Florida,
USA. The workshop will include
presentations on federal and AAFCO requirements, show how to use AAFCO’s label
review checklist and provide a “Create-A-Label” session. Petfood company
marketing and regulatory personnel, as well as feed control officials, are
urged to attend. Click here for more information.
Association committed to protecting South African pet owners from 'rogue petfood manufacturers'
During its meeting in "sunny" California, AAFCO also considered calorie statements, a wheat gluten definition and other issues
1,500 products, 50 brands rated in survey
Public meetings invited comments and provided updates
Committees discussed key proposals such as a possible shift in the oversight of animal feeds
The intent was to educate regulators and industry about the Model Pet Food Regulations
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