In one week we’ll be attending another AAFCO meeting and talking with FDA. Your input on issues requested.
Another AAFCO meeting will begin July 30, 2018 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Mr. B.C. Henchen will be representing consumer members of Association for Truth in Pet Food (ATPF) as advisor to multiple committees, myself will be representing ATPF and consumer followers of TruthaboutPetFood.com. There are multiple consumer advocates attending this meeting – details will be provided during (as time allows) and of course after the meeting.
The following issues are scheduled to be discussed and we’d like your input in advance of the meeting.
Tuesday July 31 is our busy day. Starting with the Ingredient Definitions Committee session starting at 10 AM ET. Consumers can view the full agenda here: https://www.aafco.org/Portals/
Under Item 3 Work Group Reports will be a discussion on changing the names of some pet food ingredient names (AAFCO formerly called these ingredients “villain ingredients” – but industry complained so they changed it to “confusing pet food ingredients”). These are ingredients such as by-products and animal fat that consumers have a poor opinion of (justifiably so). Industry has asked AAFCO to change the names of these ingredients.
What is your opinion on this issue? Do you agree that ingredient names such as by-products, by-product meal or animal fat should be changed? Do you disagree?
In the same session there will be a discussion on defining the term “Common and usual”. No explanation is provided in the agenda. This will be something we intend to pay close attention to.
Same session – there will be a Hemp products update. Currently there is no AAFCO definition to hemp or CBD ingredients for pet products. The hemp/CBD industry is actively working with AAFCO to define these ingredients. We can hope they have made progress.
Same session – there will be discussion on pet food ingredient Buffalo. In a previous online meeting, it was explained that the pet food ingredient Buffalo needs to be specific/clearly defined. Buffalo used in pet food is often Water Buffalo sourced from India, though many labels display an image of the American Bison.
The next session of interest to pet food consumers is the Pet Food Committee, Tuesday July 31, 2018, 3 PM ET. Agenda for this meeting here: https://www.aafco.org/Portals/
Under Reports from Working Groups there will be a discussion from the working group wishing to raise Vitamin A levels in pet food. This effort failed in the past, failed again last year – but was pushed into further discussion.
Same session – same Working Groups reports – will be discussion on feeding protocols for large breed dogs. FDA’s Dr. Burkholder is providing this discussion which means FDA was involved in the working group.
Same session – same Working Groups reports – will be discussion on an existing regulation governing names of pet foods. This particular regulation is quite confusing – is regarding regulation of pet food names using ingredients within the food in the name. It is unknown at this point what the edits AAFCO is considering.
And same session – same Working Groups reports – will be discussion on Human Grade claims. For those that have followed information on this site regarding Human Grade pet food regulation, you’ll recall some in industry tried to lessen the standards of Human Grade pet food. A ‘working group’ within AAFCO was formed to further discuss this issue (which representatives of Association for Truth in Pet Food were refused to participate in), in this session we will hear their findings.
There is another pet food product name discussion – the 95% rule (product to contain 95% – exclusive of moisture – of named meat). It is unknown at this time what edits AAFCO is considering.
And lastly there will be a discussion (if time allows) of non-GMO meats in pet foods. It is unknown who is behind this, or what the discussion will lead to.
The last half of the meeting will be updating attendees on the progress of AAFCO’s Pet Food Label Modernization working group. As reminder to consumers, updates to pet food labels were required to be completed by FDA in the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (written by Congress in response to the deadly 2007 pet food recall). These label updates were required (by law) to be completed September 2009. FDA never completed this task. AAFCO’s attempt to update pet food labels have been done with strong input from industry and very minimal input from consumers. AAFCO is considering hiring a consumer survey firm to interview a small number of consumers – to gain opinion on the label updates that have so far been developed.
And, the consumer advocates in attendance will also be provided a brief meeting with FDA representatives. Time will be brief, but…what would you like us to express to FDA? (G-rated)
This is going to be a very busy meeting. Please listen in to either meeting if you can. Details of the meeting will be shared soon after meetings are over.
And thank you to all consumers that support this website and Association for Truth in Pet Food – it is through your support that myself and B.C. can afford to go to these meetings.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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