Pet Food Regulations / Pet Food Labeling
on February 14, 2017

Update on pet food labeling at AAFCO mid-year meeting

The Pet Food Committee accepted carbohydrate-related label guarantees, will further consider revised definitions for "pet" and "specialty pet" on AAFCO Model Bill

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) held its "mid-year" meeting on January 16-18 in Mobile, Alabama, USA, and as always, there was good discussion on important matters during the Pet Food Committee (PFC) session. Many of the more controversial issues, such as "human grade" claims and the newly revised AAFCO Dog and Cat Food Nutrient Profiles, have been largely resolved by AAFCO over the last several meetings. So, the topics on the agenda at this meeting sparked much less heated debate than had been the case in the recent past.    

Proposed regulations that would allow for carbohydrate-related label guarantees were accepted by PFC and will move up to the Model Bills and Regulations Committee for final wordsmithing prior to a full AAFCO membership vote. Once enacted, these new rules would provide for maximum percentage dietary starch and sugars guarantees as well as comparative carbohydrate claims (e.g., "___% less carbohydrates than ____") on dog and cat food labels. However, absolute claims (e.g., "low carbs") would still be considered false and misleading under the new regulations. Also moving up for further consideration are revised definitions for "pet" and "specialty pet" as they appear in the AAFCO Model Bill. These modifications are intended for clarification as to what species are covered. For example, all food for domestic cats would be subject to the pet food regulations, but those products for lions, tigers and other big cats would not. Rather, they would need to comply with the general animal feed regulations. These changes will not have much, if any, impact on…

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