AFIA opposes proposed pet treat weight labeling rule

The American Feed Industry Association criticized a proposed pet treat regulation that would require labeling by weight of all pet treats.

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Photo by Andrea Gantz
Photo by Andrea Gantz

The American Feed Industry Association criticized a proposed pet treat regulation that would require labeling by weight of all pet treats. Since some pet treats currently are labeled for sale only by quantity, the proposed rule would render various products non-compliant with regulations, despite their present acceptability.

The National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM), an association of state and local weights and measures officials, federal agencies and others, developed the proposed regulation. Under that rule, rawhides, bones, biscuits, antlers and other treats would all be sold by weight. AFIA officials believe this may cause confusion between industry, state and federal law.

The NCWM, which serves as the interface between the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and manufacturers and retailers.

AFIA officials also claimed that the NCWM’s proposal does not define what is considered a pet and, could be interpreted to include something other than a dog, cat or a specialty pet.

Alternative to proposed pet treat regulation

As opposed to the proposed regulation, AFIA officials noted that many states already adopt a form of the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ Model Bill from the AAFCO Official Publication for the regulation of animal food.

The AAFCO Model Regulation and Pet Food Regulations already mandate a quantity statement on pet treat labels. The term quantity statement is defined as: β€œthe net weight, liquid measure or count.” Federal requirements for the statement of net quantity also allows count.

AFIA, AAFCO and Pet Food Institute staff are working to communicate with the NCWM in writing to state why this new definition and requirement is not consistent with current feed and pet food labeling practices by states or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The groups aim to convey how the rule may negatively affect pet food manufacturers. The NCWM will consider the proposed rule at their July meeting.

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