Another pet food can make the ‘human grade’ claim and some ‘murky’ information from AAFCO.
People food is human grade…so is People Fud. Davyd Smith of PeopleFud.com shared that their dog foods are made at a human food processing facility. “We are made at a local co-packer that is a USDA facility. We are the only food made there not produced for human consumers. We chose them for this reason. We didn’t have a legal battle, but the bureaucracy at the DOA (Department of Agriculture) and Health Department was challenging as they couldn’t understand what we were trying to do with our standards. We kept getting “But you don’t need to be inspected by the health department, you can make that food at any facility.” We just kept annoying them until they inspected the facility and gave us a Health Department certificate.” (Annoying can be a good thing.) People Fud dog food can make the “human grade” claim; their foods are made at a human food processing facility.
So…what does AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) have to say about human grade claims on pet food advertising? President Kent Kitade emailed me the following “States have the authority to review such advertising for truthfulness if they deem that media advertising is a form of labeling. Still a little murky but does that help?”
I appreciate that AAFCO President Kent Kitade is/was open with his response. I appreciate that he responded at all! Pet owners (or a representative of pet owners – that would be me) tend to get the brush off with questions to regulatory authorities. However, “murky” regulations don’t help anyone.
“Murky” certainly doesn’t provide pet owners with sound information to base pet food purchases on. “Murky” as well doesn’t help to repair an extremely damaged trust between pet food manufacturers and petsumers (and regulatory agencies).
Recommendation to AAFCO. Include on every pet food advisory board a pet owner that has suffered the experience of a pet death due to a pet food. Currently, a member of The Pet Food Institute (trade organization) sits on each pet food advisory board at AAFCO. Without a pet owner on each of these boards, “murky” will continue…misinformation will continue…lack of trust will continue. It is imperative – that is if commercial pet food wishes to survive – that the industry listen to Pet Owners.
The days of murky being acceptable are gone.
I remain in communication with AAFCO President Kent Kitade, I will keep you posted to any new information regarding the ‘human grade’ claim. As it stands, only The Honest Kitchen and People Fud pet foods can make the ‘human grade’ claim on their pet food packaging. However, it appears that any pet food can make the “human grade” claim in advertising or correspondence directly to petsumers as long as the advertising/correspondence is not interpreted as a form of labeling (regardless whether the human grade claim is true or not). Murky.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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