Articles by David A. Dzanis, DVM, PhD, DACVN

How do you solve a problem like glucosamine in petfood?

With apologies to The Sound of Music — confusion over including glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate in petfoods still rages.
Glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate have been ingredients in petfoods for most of the last 20 years. However, neither ingredient ever has been formally approved or otherwise sanctioned for that purpose. This should not stop interested states from meeting and agreeing to uniform labeling requirements.
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Petfood petition sent to White House

A petition posted on the ‘We the People’ site requests that the FDA be ordered to strictly enforce a law as it pertains to petfood ingredients
In late October, a consumer advocate started a petition on the “We the People” page of the White House website (www.whitehouse.gov). The petition requests that the Obama Administration instruct the US Food and Drug Administration to enforce a strict interpretation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) as it pertains to suitability of ingredients for use in petfood or, lacking that, require a label disclaimer on all petfoods that do not meet the standards as set forth by the exact verbiage in the law.
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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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DSHEA revisited for pet supplements?

If a 1994 law addressing dietary supplements for humans becomes applicable to animal products, it would shake up the regulatory landscape
In a presentation at the annual meeting of the National Animal Supplement Council a few months ago, a representative of the US Food and Drug Administration made a very interesting comment. He said that in FDA’s attempt to find “legal homes” for the plethora of unapproved ingredients currently on the market, one possibility is for FDA to reconsider the applicability of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) for products intended for animal consumption.
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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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New AAFCO website to help small petfood manufacturers

‘The Business of Pet Food’ was designed for smaller producers who have limited understanding of state and federal regulatory requirements
In the September 2010 issue of Petfood Industry, I briefly reported on the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ intent to launch a website designed particularly to help small manufacturers understand and comply with labeling and other state and federal regulatory requirements. The preview of the site at last year’s annual meeting met with tremendous applause from the audience.
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Veterinary groups offer pet nutritional assessment guidelines

Nutrition has been recognized by both groups as a critical component of overall pet care
Both the American Animal Hospital Association and World Small Animal Veterinary Association have recently published guidelines for the nutritional assessment of pets as part of routine physical examinations. The role of nutrition in animal health has long been a very important but often underutilized component of veterinary medicine.
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What’s in a name? New and proposed petfood ingredients

During its last meeting, AAFCO took action on a number of new and proposed ingredients
Despite the expectation that the Food and Drug Administration will phase out its participation in the Association of American Feed Control Officials feed ingredient definition process by 2012, there are still many ingredients in the definition pipeline. During its “mid-year” meeting in January, AAFCO took action on a number of new and proposed ingredients, at least a few of which have impact on petfoods.
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US petfood labeling update

AAFCO has proposed requiring calorie content to be included on labels, plus changes to labels of specialty petfoods
In the US, petfood labeling is stipulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials Model Regulations for Pet Food and Specialty Pet Food. The models are constantly evolving, with often at least an amendment or two every year.
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