From the Fall 2011 Pet Food Institute’s trade magazine – the PFI Monitor – we find that industry has influenced the development and enforcement of pet food regulations since the very beginning of pet food regulations. An interesting, but not surprising, history of pet food regulations.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials – AAFCO – is the organization responsible for developing much of the laws, legal definitions, and nutritional standards for all animal feeds including pet food/feed. While AAFCO itself was established in 1909, pet food/pet feed was not specifically regulated until 1954 when the Pet Food Committee was established. In that same year it was established to “limit fat content in pet foods to 50%”.
In 1958, the trade association for pet food manufacturers – the Pet Food Institute (PFI) – was established. And the influence of industry over the development and enforcement of pet food regulations began.
In 1960 the PFI develops and presented to AAFCO a glossary of terms and a label guide on pet food. And then in 1962 “AAFCO began reviewing pet food labels using PFI guidance”.
In 1966 the PFI “delivered to AAFCO pet-food-specific regulations for consideration.” And one year later, (1967) AAFCO established the Model Pet Food regulations.
It wasn’t until 1969 that “Complete and balanced” was defined. Though detailed nutrient requirements to meet the ‘complete and balanced’ definition wasn’t developed until the 1980’s when the National Research Council published ‘Nutrient Requirements of Dogs’ (in 1985) and ‘Nutrient Requirements of Cats’ (in 1986).
And as recent as “the early 2000’s” AAFCO has allowed PFI in depth input into the law building process. “In the early 2000s the pet food regulations were rewritten to make them more easily understood and more directly applicable to products in the marketplace. During this time PFI developed a label review checklist to make it easier to assess regulatory compliance of labels; the checklist was adopted by AAFCO and is included in the OP.”
The influence of industry over the development and enforcement of pet food law is startling. But as we can see through the PFI’s own words – they’ve been doing this from the very beginning of pet food regulations (and they seem to be quite proud they have such control of AAFCO too). What a shame authorities can’t figure out this is not appropriate for law makers and not in the best interest for those that consume the products they govern…our pets.
To real the full article about the History of AAFCO and pet food regulations, Click Here.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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