I say with great happiness…another AAFCO meeting is over. More information once I return home, but here are a few highlights.
The greatest pleasure for me of an AAFCO meeting (besides the moment it is over) is on day one, first session, roll call. It is wonderful to be able to stand and say my name with “representing pet food consumers”. In the midst of hundreds of industry representatives to say I am here representing you, makes every meeting for me.
After the roll call is the ‘Business Meeting’. We got to see the definition of feed grade and human grade approved. That was a milestone.
Purina gave a presentation on ‘consumer’ research. The most concerning issue with this (honestly it wasn’t all bad) was how questions can be asked (of consumers) to achieve the desired answers. Of course we all knew this was happening – does happen; but it certainly was interesting hearing them say it.
There was discussion of a AAFCO working group (working groups happen outside of AAFCO meetings – usually online) that I knew nothing about in advance. The working group consisted of part regulatory and part industry (no consumer representative). And the working group report shared that the group discussed what can/will be shared by industry to regulatory authorities. I was shocked at this disclosure. In my opinion, what should be shared by industry to regulatory in a pet food/animal feed investigation should be anything that regulatory wants or needs. There should be no discussion on this in advance. But…that’s now how it works.
In the Pet Food Committee Meeting this morning, Big Heart Brands (now owned by Smuckers) had their opportunity to discuss the term ‘meaty’. In their presentation they clearly told the Pet Food Committee how confusing the term was – it is used to describe everything from fish in a pet food to being used for a sweet potato treat. When opportunity arose, I gave the committee your input (consumer input) stating consumers believe the term ‘meaty’ should mean it is full of actual meat and consumers believe it should not be allowed as it is very misleading; which was basically stating what Big Heart Brands was saying. But…after my response the Big Heart Brands representative responded to me by citing the dictionary definition of the word and stated she didn’t know why it was so confusing to consumers. Strange – as she was just telling AAFCO how confusing the term was for them.
One good thing of the Pet Food Committee meeting was more discussion on human grade, one of the Committee chairs stated they welcome – even from consumers (and she specifically stated consumers) – suggestions on how to further the definition of human grade pet foods. Such as raw pet foods who fall in a grey area. I found that suggestion to be very open minded of AAFCO – giving us the opportunity for further voice on this topic. Thank you AAFCO.
In the Ingredient Definitions Committee Meeting there was discussion of a new FDA Compliance Policy that will not allow multiple terms used for the same ingredient. The example given was Brewers Rice (found commonly in pet food/treats) and Chipped Rice. Both ingredients are the same product. FDA does not want the term Brewers Rice used, they want Chipped Rice used.
When I get home (late tomorrow) I will go over my notes and provide more details. Thanks to all consumers that support this website giving me opportunity to represent you at AAFCO. If it wasn’t for all of you – I wouldn’t be here. Thank you!
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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Susan’s List of trusted pet foods. Click Here
The Other List
The List of pet foods I would not give my own pets. Click Here
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