Pet Food Ingredients / Pet Food Regulations
on April 10, 2017

AAFCO discusses use of unacceptable pet food ingredients

Several different types of ingredients used in pet foods are under regulatory scrutiny.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) held its "mid-year" meeting on January 16–18 in Mobile, Alabama, USA. The deliberations of the Pet Food Committee, which obviously affect all pet food and specialty pet food manufacturers, were discussed in the March 2017 “Petfood Insights” column of Petfood Industry magazine. However, deliberations of the Ingredient Definitions Committee also have significant impact on the pet food industry. 

As is typical at a meeting of this committee, there were a number of procedural actions; e.g., new tentative definitions established, tentative definitions moved to official status and amendments or editorial changes made to existing definitions. A new section to be included in the AAFCO Official Publication is a listing of those ingredients subject to a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) notification that subsequently received a "no questions" letter (i.e., tacit approval) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While these technically have a different regulatory status from those ingredients that are AAFCO-defined, their listing will make it easier for both regulators and industry to understand that they should be acceptable nonetheless.

There were also plans discussed for a systematic reclassification of the direct-fed microbials listed in the Official Publication. Both to bring the currently used nomenclature up-to-date and to correct previous errors in classification, many of the scientific names of microorganisms will need to be changed. When that task is completed, pet food manufacturers that include probiotics in their products may need to perform some serious label revisions.

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