What is another huge difference between human food and pet food? Significant income earned by State Department of Agricultures from pet food. Animal food manufacturers are required to register in each state their products are sold in and pay fees per tonnage sold in each state, human food doesn’t register and doesn’t pay a dime.
For every pet food or treat you see in the grocery, the big chain pet stores, and your neighborhood pet food store – the manufacturer of each food or treat is required to register with the state (each state) and pay fees to be allowed to sell their products in said state. Each state requires a different registration and the fee schedule is different. All but one state (Nevada) charges a fee or multiple fees.
For every human food you see in the grocery, big chain stores, drug store or your local gas station – not one manufacturer is required to register with the state and not one is charged a fee to sell their products in the state.
Florida, as example, requires each animal food or treat manufacturer to register and charges a per ton sold fee.
0 up to 25 tons – $40 per year
More than 25 to 50 tons – $75 per year
Continues up to more the 5,000 tons – $3,500 per year
$300 registration fee per year plus $0.15 per ton sold in California per year.
$100 registration fee per year plus $0.10 per ton sold dry/$0.05 per ton sold wet. For treats (or pet food in packages that weigh less than 10 pounds) – $50 per product per year. ‘Per product’ means each individual variety – example Original Flavor treats, Cheese Flavor treats, and Bacon Flavor treats are three different product varieties. The treat manufacturer would be charged $150 per year to sell these three different treats in Colorado.
$23 registration fee per year.
Registration fees range from $50 to $2,000 per year based on tons of animal feed/food sold. For treats (or pet food in packages that weigh less than ten pounds) – $25 per product per year.
Registration fee is $5 for each product in packages greater than ten pounds, $25 for products less than ten pounds per year, plus $0.20 per ton sold in Idaho per year.
Registration fee is $10 per year, plus $0.05 per ton of pet food sold in Kansas each year and $15 for each product one pound or less.
Registration fee $40 per year, plus $6 to $10 per label (depends on number of products registered), plus $1 per ton sold in Louisiana per year, $200 maximum. Treats or pet foods sold in packages weighing less than ten pounds – $200 per product per year.
For each state, every registration process is different and every fee is different. Most states require copies of each product label submitted with registration. Errors in registration can result in products being pulled from store shelves. It’s madness for any manufacturer staying on top of the requirements of each state and can cost a very small pet food manufacturer $75,000 a year (selling products in about half of the states).
So…how much money does this provide to the states?
A small kibble manufacturing facility typically operates five or six days a week – three shifts. 80 batches of pet food can be made during each shift. Each batch is 8,000 pounds of pet food.
640,000 pounds (320 tons) of pet food made per shift times 3 shifts times 5 days a week times 52 weeks a year = 249,600 tons of pet food per year from just one pet food plant.
If the small plant that produces 249,600 tons of pet food sold products to just three states (as example 5 different varieties of pet food sold in Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana – an equal tonnage for each state) – this one plant would pay an estimated $6,000 per year just for the ability to sell pet food in three states.
The Pet Food Institute states that in 2013 more than 8 million tons of pet food was sold in the U.S. Estimating that half of the states charge an average of $0.10 per ton…$20,000,000.00 is paid by pet food manufacturers to states – just to be able to sell their products.
Plus – conservatively, if 80% of US states charge an average of $50 per year registration fee…estimating 2,000 (very conservative) different products – add in another $4,000,000.00 annually paid to states.
So…a conservative estimated $24 million dollars a year is being paid to State Department of Agriculture just for pet foods (this estimate does not include all other animal feeds). Easily ten times that amount is paid to State Department of Agricultures for livestock feeds ($240 million a year). $0 is being paid to State Department of Agricultures for human food.
And who ultimately pays these fees (end cost of the pet food)? Consumers.
One would think, that since pet food/animal feed registration and licensing fees would make pet foods/animal feeds safer than human food…right? Wrong. With pet food alone – our estimated $24 million dollars a year gets us…
- Pet food that is called food, but most are actually feed. Clarification is not provided to the consumer to which they are purchasing (food or feed).
- Pet food that can be made from diseased animals – approved by FDA – but not disclosed to the consumer.
- Pet food that can be made with chemical or pesticide contaminated ingredients – approved by FDA – but not disclosed to the consumer.
And on and on.
FDA and State Department of Agricultures major objective is human food safety. Ok…yes…human food safety should come first. But…why should pet food/animal feed have to bankroll human food safety and still be last on the list of concerns for regulatory authorities?
To see what your state charges pet food/animal feed manufacturers – Click Here to be taken to the AAFCO website. Scroll down the page to view registration information. Or Click Here for an AAFCO document on fees for each state.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
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