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

AAFCO ponders maximum calcium levels in dog food

Currently no breed differentiations in numbers; incorrect feeding may be an issue
How much calcium is too much in dog foods? In 2007, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) convened a panel of experts from academia and industry to, in part, make recommendations for revision of the AAFCO Dog and Cat Food Nutrient Profiles. These profiles, which were last revised in 1995, serve as one means by which the nutritional adequacy of dog and cat foods can be substantiated in the US.
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AAFCO meets to vote on latest petfood, animal feed topics

Definitions, bill additions, language discussed at New Orleans meeting
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) held its "mid-year" meeting on January 8-10, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. While the city (along with much of the rest of the country) was experiencing unusually cold weather at that time, temperatures in the meeting room were kept elevated by heated discussion over several controversial items.
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Raw petfood makes the news

Continued controversy likely with release of new documents, but practice of raw feeding expected to remain
The feeding of raw petfood has been a controversy for decades. Both sides of the discussion have their extremist factions, with some believing it is the ultimately healthful means of feeding dogs and cats and others convinced it constitutes a wholly unwarranted risk to the health of both pets and the people feeding them.
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Food Safety Modernization Act update

Proposed regulations mean change for the petfood industry
In October, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed new regulations to implement aspects of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for animal feeds (including petfoods), similar to those proposed for foods for human consumption earlier this year. The law, enacted in 2011, addresses sweeping changes to regulation of food for both man and other animals, including the establishment of preventive controls, improved inspection and response capabilities, improved oversight of imports, and enhanced partnerships with domestic and international regulatory bodies.
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AAFCO Official Publication goes online

Web version provides a working alternative to print version of a vital resource
Any petfood manufacturer distributing product in the US needs to be familiar with the contents of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Official Publication (OP) to formulate and label products to be in compliance with the regulations of most states. As mentioned in my October Petfood Industry column, an online version of the OP is now available.
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FDA offers guidance on food and color additives in petfoods

Document for food additives still in draft form, color additives guidance has been finalized
In September, the agency published two guidance documents (one proposed, one final) regarding additives for use in animal feed, including petfood. The subject matter that is covered by these documents is not particularly new; however, the guidance they offer to the petfood industry is very helpful.
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AAFCO holds annual meeting in Florida

Official Publication goes online, regulations discussed
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) held its annual meeting August 13-15 in St. Pete Beach, Florida, USA. Perhaps the biggest announcement at the meeting was the introduction of an online version of the AAFCO Official Publication. 
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‘Made in USA’ claims: What’s required for petfood products?

Many factors must be considered by petfood manufacturers before product labels can be placed.
To appeal to the concerns of many petfood purchasers in the US, the claim "Made in USA" or similar verbiage, often accompanied by a depiction of the American flag, is not uncommon on petfood labels these days. Neither the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nor the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has any regulations or expressed policies regarding use of the claim.
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FDA to investigate Salmonella in petfood

Concerns not new, but policy refinement and closer scrutiny likely
As the moderator for the sessions on petfood safety at the 2013 Petfood Forum, I can say without fear of contradiction that Salmonella control was a very hot topic. Multiple speakers addressed the subject, and the information conveyed to the manufacturers in the audience was indeed timely.
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Calorie content declarations on petfood labels: What’s the best method?

With new requirements for calorie content statements on the horizon, what’s the best method to determine ME?
As previously reported, recent amendments to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Model Regulations for Pet Food and Specialty Pet Food will require calorie content statements on all dog and cat food labels within the next few years (the exact time frame for compliance is still to be determined). There currently are two AAFCO-accepted methods upon which to determine and report metabolizable energy (ME).
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