Pet Food Labeling

Vet offers consumer tips for reading petfood ingredient labels

Ingredient weight percentage requirements explained for different petfoods
In a recent Huffington Post blog, Donna Solomon, a veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center of Chicago, Illinois, USA, says she believes the best pet owners are those that are well-informed about pet care and pet nutrition, so she offers some consumer tips for reading petfood labels. Solomon says that, according to regulations, if a product name includes a meat, poultry or fish ingredient with no descriptor words after it, like "nugget" or "dinner," that ingredient must represent 95 percent of the petfood's total product weight, not including water, or, the ingredient must represent 70 percent of the product weight if it includes water. 
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FDA member addresses FSMA requirements for petfood safety

Dr. Daniel McChesney of the Food and Drug Administration spoke at Petfood Forum about timelines, requirements for the new law
At Petfood Forum 2012, Daniel G. McChesney, PhD, director of the Office of Surveillance and compliance, Center for Veterinary Medicine, US Food and Drug Administration , spoke to petfood and treat manufacturers and petfood ingredient suppliers about necessary requirements and timelines for compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act. Dr. McChesney told his audience that the main themes of the food safety law are prevention; inspections, compliance and response; enhanced partnerships; and import safety.
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Petfood industry critic challenges FDA consumer education video

FDA video offers information to consumers on regulation of petfood ingredients, labels
A recently released video from the US Food and Drug Administration aimed at educating consumers about petfood is now being challenged by a petfood industry critic, who posted her own video challenging the US Food and Drug Administration’s claims. The six-minute video from the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, “FDA and Pet Food,” informs consumers of the information required by law to be included on petfood packaging, such as a petfood ingredients list that uses the “common or usual” name for each ingredient.
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Pet Food Alliance encourages vets to discuss pet diets with owners

Alliance discusses pet nutrition, initiatives after 2007 petfood recall at meeting
  At a recent meeting, representatives of the Pet Food Alliance discussed what the group is trying to accomplish five years after the widespread petfood recall in 2007, says a recent article from the Chicago Tribune. Following the recall, the Alliance is working to encourage veterinarians to discuss pet diets and pet nutrition with clients and to set nutrition guidelines.  
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Petfood companies Mars, Heinz Watties dispute over trademark

Mars seeks to trademark slogan similar to marketing phrase used by Heinz Watties in Australia.
Petfood manufacturer Mars and New Zealand petfood company Heinz Watties are in a dispute over whether Mars can trademark the marketing slogan for its Advance petfood line in Australia, according to a local report. Mars wants to trademark the slogan "Advance Advanced Pet Nutrition," but was denied by assistant trademarks commissioner, Jennie Walden, because she said the trademark phrase was likely to confuse consumers due to its similarity to what Heinz Watties says is its unregistered trademark of "Champ Advanced Dog Nutrition."   
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Vet addresses pet nutrition myths in university lecture series

Professor and vet from Tufts University discusses petfood myths, proper pet nutrition
Tufts University's most-recent lecture in its weekly series featured Dr. Lisa Freeman, a professor from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, presenting and discussing her research on companion animal nutrition. The lecture, part of the "A Taste of Tufts: A Sampling of Faculty Research" series, focused on exposing pet nutrition myths and educating pet owners on how to select an optimal diet for their pet.    
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What is the petfood industry’s role in fighting pet obesity?

If fat pets are becoming the ‘new normal’ in developed markets, should petfood manufacturers help address the problem?
Karen Wedekind, PhD, a researcher in pet nutrition with Novus Nutrition Brands, has made it a cause of sorts to educate our industry about the importance of balanced pet diets and avoiding excesses of nutrients such as minerals, protein and others (download a webinar on the topic). Whether you agree with Dr. Wedekind’s analysis, most industry professionals would concede that many pets, especially in developed markets, are receiving too much food overall.
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Calorie statements on petfood labels move forward

A report from the AAFCO Pet Food Committee’s recent deliberations.
During the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ “mid-year” meeting January 17–19, 2012, in Reno, Nevada, USA, the agenda for the Pet Food Committee was relatively light, with no new items up for discussion. Yet one piece of old business held court. It was the amendment to AAFCO Model Regulation PF9, which would in part require a calorie content statement on all dog and cat food labels (currently it is only mandatory on “lite” and “less calories” product labels).  
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Petfood innovation: marketing vs. regulatory

In a competitive marketplace, products need innovative ingredients that are marketed to consumers—but in a way that complies with regulations.
While the marketing, R&D and regulatory departments within a petfood company share a common goal—to contribute to the success of the company—the respective functions of the first two departments compared to the last often appear diametrically opposed. In a competitive marketplace, the need to distinguish your products from others is a major key to success.
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Petfood companies, pet owners to blame for pet obesity, vet says

Vet says pet obesity problem due to high calorie content in petfood, overfeeding of pets
A Canadian veterinary pet nutrition specialist says pets are becoming more overweight not only because petfood is high in calories, but also because pet owners may also be overfeeding and under exercising their pets, according to lfpress.com. Monica Snedden, a veterinary nutrition specialist and registered veterinary technician at Princess Animal Hospital in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, says pet owners are contributing to their pet's obesity by “feeding them the wrong thing, overfeeding them, just leaving the food down and leaving the bowl full all the time.”
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