Articles by David A. Dzanis, DVM, Ph.D., DACVN.

The GRAS is always greener

GRAS notifications for ingredients in petfood are now accepted by the FDA
Recently the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will begin accepting generally recognized as safe (GRAS) notifications for ingredients for use in animal feed and petfood. Some people in the petfood industry hailed this as a positive step. Why? What does it mean for petfood?
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New BSE rules will affect petfoods

FDA's enhanced feed ban will likely affect rendered ingredients used in petfoods
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations to help mitigate the risk of possible transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or "mad cow disease') among cattle in the US have been in place since 1997. These rules do not have much direct impact on the formulation, processing or labeling of petfoods compared to other segments of the animal feed     industry.
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Is irradiation of petfoods natural?

AAFCO definition for 'natural' should be amended to include irradiation for sake of clarity to consumers
In 2001, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a petition broadening the use of irradiation of animal feeds to include petfoods, treats and chews. That same year, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) accepted the feed term "natural" and established guidelines concerning its use on petfood labels.
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AAFCO mid-year report: new ingredients and label terms

Also on the agenda: modified GMPs and foods for pets other than cats and dogs
Because of budget restrictions for various states in the US, attendance was down at the Association of American Feed Control Officials' (AAFCO) mid-year meeting in January. (AAFCO holds its annual meeting every August, so the January one is referred to as mid-year.) But important work was accomplished.
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'No by-products' no more?

This negative claim is gaining attention from state regulators
Some people within the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) have never cared for negative claims on petfood labelsstatements such as, "no ____" or "____free." Although currently there is no model regulation, policy or guideline that explicitly addresses this issue, some regulators believe that even when such statements are technically true, claims regarding absence of an ingredient in a product may cause false disparagement of that safe and acceptable feed ingredient.
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'New' APPA discusses regulatory issues

Understanding recent changes was the main purpose of a meeting during the Backer trade show
In early October, I attended the H.H. Backer Christmas 2008 Show in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Like other pet trade shows such as Global Pet Expo (GPE), the main function of the Backer show is for pet product companies to showcase their products to prospective buyers from retail firms.
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NRC publishes new report on supplement safety

Many of the ingredients allowed in supplements for humans are a problem when used in animal feed or petfood
A little over a year ago,  I reported on the formation of a National Research Council (NRC)  committee charged with looking at the safety of dietary supplements for non-food-producing animals. While the committee's members were not finalized at that time, I was honored to subsequently be confirmed as a participant in this expert panel.
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AAFCO holds petfood workshop

The intent was to educate regulators and industry about the Model Pet Food Regulations
After a couple of years of discussion and planning, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), along with the Pet Food Institute (PFI), held a petfood regulatory workshop in early August, the day before AAFCO's Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The intent was to educate both regulators and industry professionals about the AAFCO Model Regulations for Pet Food and Specialty Pet Food (also known as Model Pet Food Regulations).
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Surprise at AAFCO annual meeting

Members voted on several measures -- with one unexpected outcome
The 2008 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) was held August 1-4 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. During the general session, where the AAFCO membership as a whole votes on the recommendations made by the various committees over the past year, something unexpected happened.
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