Is it AAFCO, or is it just me?
Recent changes make reading the Official Publication more challenging
Part of the purpose and function of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is to foster uniform interpretation and enforcement of US state laws and regulations as they pertain to animal feeds, largely accomplished through promulgation of the Model Bill & Regulations as well as the establishment of ingredient definitions. Therefore, success in the US petfood market requires intimate familiarity with the contents of the AAFCO Official Publication (OP).
While it contains vital information, the OP can be difficult to follow; i.e., I've never heard anyone refer to it as being "reader-friendly." Over the last 25-plus years, it has been my constant work resource, and rarely a day goes by when I am not looking up something. Still, while I am pretty adept at finding what I need in the OP quickly, some changes in the recent past have hampered my abilities.
One factor that had complicated matters is the fact that there is now both a printed and an online version of the OP. The print version is published only once a year. The online version, however, can be updated throughout the year, particularly after each meeting. So, what may appear in the online version soon after this January's "mid-year" meeting may not show up in the print version until 2016.
On which version should you rely, then? Regulations may be amended, or the status of ingredients changed, and if you do not search the online version you may not realize it for some time. So…