Pet Food Press Releases

Registration open for FDA virtual public meeting on role in AAFCO pet food ingredient definition progress

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine has opened registration for a virtual public meeting about FDA’s role in the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) feed ingredient definition process. 

The meeting will take place on Thursday, February 9, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.

FDA regulates food for animals, such as livestock and pets, including ingredients used in animal food. As part of FDA’s regulatory responsibilities, the agency reviews the safety of new or modified animal food ingredients. These reviews may be in response to food additive petitions, color additive petitions or generally recognized as safe (GRAS) notices, or the commissioner on their own initiative may propose an animal food additive or color additive regulation or establish a GRAS affirmation. 

In addition, FDA provides scientific and technical advice on the suitability of new or modified ingredients to support the AAFCO feed ingredient definition process, which establishes and publishes AAFCO definitions for ingredients used in animal food. FDA provides advice and concurrence as outlined in an FDA-AAFCO memorandum of understanding (MOU) that defines the responsibilities of both entities in handling new AAFCO feed ingredient definition requests. AAFCO is a group of state, federal and international regulatory officials that partner to support uniform animal food regulatory systems.

AAFCO provides model laws and regulations that nearly all states have adopted as the basis for their animal food regulatory programs. AAFCO’s ingredient definitions are not federal regulations and do not have the force or effect of federal law. However, most states incorporate the ingredients listed in the AAFCO Official Publication (OP) into their state laws, so the AAFCO feed ingredient definitions facilitate the interstate marketing of animal food ingredients.

FDA plans to present on the FDA-AAFCO relationship, explain the FDA-AAFCO Memorandum of Understanding, and discuss potential changes to FDA’s approach to its consultations in support of the AAFCO feed ingredient definition process. AAFCO will present information about its organization and how it works with FDA. The majority of the meeting time will be dedicated to giving stakeholders an opportunity to share constructive feedback and suggestions with FDA as the agency looks to improve its role in the AAFCO feed ingredient definition process. Such feedback and suggestions can also be submitted as written comments to the docket.

Stakeholder presentations or written comments should be limited to addressing one or more of the following questions:

  1. What steps can FDA take to improve stakeholder understanding of FDA’s engagement with AAFCO’s feed ingredient definition process and better communicate this information with the public? 
  2. What changes to FDA’s role in AAFCO’s feed ingredient definition process would be helpful to stakeholders and why?
  3. If FDA made a list of AAFCO feed ingredient definition requests publicly available, where would stakeholders prefer to find such a list and what information would stakeholders like to see with such a list? 
  4. What do stakeholders view as successful or valuable in FDA’s continued participation as the scientific reviewers for new AAFCO feed ingredient definitions?

The purpose of this meeting is to specifically look at how to improve FDA’s role in the AAFCO feed ingredient definition process and how FDA could gather stakeholder input on the safety of each pending ingredient definition. The meeting will not address other aspects of animal food regulation.

Stakeholders interested in attending the virtual public meeting should register by completing the registration form on the event webpage: CVM Virtual Public Meeting: FDA and the AAFCO Animal Feed Ingredient Definition Process. Early registration is recommended. Registrants will receive a confirmation email with the event link and passcode.

Stakeholders interested in presenting at the virtual public meeting on one or more of the questions outlined above must fill out and submit the registration form on the event webpage no later than January 12, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. ET, and be sure to check the box indicating that you are requesting to present. FDA will contact presenters by February 1, 2023, with further instructions.

In addition to holding the public meeting, FDA is accepting electronic or written comments through March 9, 2023. To electronically submit comments to the docket, visit regulations.gov and type “FDA-2022-N-3122” in the search box. To submit comments to the docket by mail, follow instructions on the CVM Virtual Public Meeting: FDA and the AAFCO Animal Feed Ingredient Definition Process webpage.

Following the meeting and after all public comments have been considered, FDA intends to evaluate the existing FDA-AAFCO MOU, possibly amend CPG 665.100 Common or Usual Names for Animal Feed Ingredients, and/or make other adjustments to better serve stakeholders.

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