Pet Food Labeling

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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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Chinese petfood found to be mislabeled by Taipei city officials

Four petfoods found to have false labeling about ingredients, according to government sampling
The Taipei City Government yesterday ordered four petfood products to be taken off store shelves because of incorrect labeling, according to the Taipei Times. City officials inspected 140 petfood products, of which four were found to be falsely labeled.
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European Pet Food Industry Federation petfood labeling code approved

Petfood code interprets legislative requirements for petfood labeling
The European Pet Food Industry Federation, FEDIAF, welcomed validation of the new Code of Good Labeling Practice for Pet Food by the European Commission. Regulation 767/2009 on the Marketing and Use of Feed modernizes the relevant rules for petfood manufacturing and promotes the development of EU Codes of Good Labeling Practice as tools for co-regulation.  
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FDA to communicate more clearly?

Under the Plain Writing Act of 2010, US agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration will have to use plain English in their communications
While many petfood companies have been preoccupied with concern about the ramifications of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act and the Food Safety Modernization Act on their businesses, another piece of legislation appears to have gone largely unnoticed.
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Controversy threatens GRAS process for petfood ingredients

In the debate over whether AAFCO will accept ‘no questions’ from FDA to allow new ingredients, our industry can learn from human foods
A single thread of controversy entangled nearly every committee discussion during the annual Association of American Feed Control Officials meeting in August 2011. That thread was the impending change in the way the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine will oversee the safety of ingredients in petfoods and other animal feeds from now on—and how that change could severely inhibit the industry’s ability to demonstrate the acceptability of its ingredients to state regulators.
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Veterinarian clarifies natural, organic petfood label terms

Veterinarian urges consumers to read petfood labels when choosing a food
Petfood ingredient labels can be confusing to pet owners because certain terms have no legal definition. Ernest Ward, veterinarian and founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, says pet owners need to do their research when selecting what to feed their dog or cat. Ward says there is no official definition for the term "natural," which could mean anything that is not syntheic, but does not guarantee the product's quality or nutritional value.
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AAFCO votes on specialty petfood labels

During the AAFCO annual meeting, members also approved a change in the L-carnitine ingredient definition
The 102nd Annual Convention of the Association of American Feed Control Officials was held July 30 to August 1, 2011, in Austin, Texas, USA. There were some, but not very many, items directly affecting petfood. Since the AAFCO recently changed its procedures so the membership now votes at both the annual and midyear meetings, the number of items up for consideration in the general session seemed fewer this year than at annual meetings past.
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Clean labels provide transparency for pet owners

Help consumers understand what is in your products with the clearest communication possible
As consumers have made it clear that they trust what they understand and perceive to be fresh, "real" ingredients, and as they demand the right to know what is in the foods they eat, should it come as a surprise that those same consumers are now insisting on the same right for the foods they feed their pets? The focus on a clear brand message and using language consumers clearly understand is growing and not going away, according to Lynn Dornblaser of Mintel.  
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Bringing a new petfood concept to market

Innovative companies take an idea and add to it, managing the inevitable balancing act among competing interests, requirements and realities
Where do new product ideas come from in the petfood industry? Do they only come from marketing or sales? In my experience, some of the fastest growing new products or brands have come from single entrepreneurs as well as large multifunctional groups.
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