Pet Food Regulations
On September 10, 2013

AAFCO holds annual meeting in Florida

Official Publication goes online, regulations discussed

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) held its annual meeting August 13-15 in St. Pete Beach, Florida, USA. This was the first meeting of the organization I have missed in 24 years (that's over 50 meetings, counting all the annual and mid-year meetings as well as the stand-alone Pet Food Committee meetings that were held in the 1990s)! While I was unable to attend this time, my contacts who did go to the meeting reported some interesting activities.

Perhaps the biggest announcement  at the meeting was the introduction of an online version of the AAFCO Official Publication. Subscribers will be able to use their computers, tablets and other devices to search the "Model Bill and Regulations," "Ingredient Definitions" and other sections of the publication using key words. My assessment of the pros and cons of this new offering will appear in a future column.

In other news,  the AAFCO membership voted down a motion to forego a recommended grace period for enforcement of the new calorie content requirements for dog and cat food labels as they are to be published in the 2014 AAFCO Official Publication. By default, then, the original proposal of the Pet Food Committee stands; i.e., AAFCO will recommend delay of enforcement of the new rules by states for 18 months for new products and for three years for existing products after publication. However, based on comments I received it appears unlikely that AAFCO will be inclined to make these sorts of recommendations…

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