Pet Food Regulations / Pet Food Labeling
On January 7, 2013

Petfood predictions for 2013

Regulation amendments and labeling changes may be ahead in the new year.

["The grass-roots movement to require GMO labeling of foods is growing, so it would not be surprising to see similar initiatives pop up in California or other states in 2013.", "The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 represents a sea of change in food and feed regulation."]

What's ahead in the new year for petfoods? A number of issues, both at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) levels, seem to have lingered on for years. That's not terribly surprising, as by its nature the regulatory process is "deliberate" (i.e., slow). However, 2013 looks promising for final resolution (or at least notable advancement) on several fronts.

Regarding nutrition-related matters, an amendment to AAFCO Model Regulation PF9 was first proposed by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition in 2005 that would require, among other things, a calorie content statement on all dog and cat food labels. Now, going on eight years and after much deliberation, the proposal should have come up for final vote by the AAFCO membership at the "mid-year" meeting in January. Assuming it does pass, it may take a few years for the new requirements to be phased in, but at least we'll know they're definitely coming.

The AAFCO Dog and Cat Food Nutrient Profiles and feeding trial protocols were last revised in 1996. An expert panel was convened shortly after the publication of the National Research Council (NRC) Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats in 2006, with…

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