This article comes from NGFA's June 2 newsletter.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) on May 30 issued a statement opposing a proposal for a new system to federally regulate pet food.

The Pet Food Institute (PFI) publicly expressed its concerns with the current regulatory process overseen by state governments during the Petfood Forum 2023 on May 2 in Kansas City, MO.

PFI President and CEO Dana Brooks said the current system provides a “patchwork” of state regulations resulting in interstate commerce disruptions.

Any proposed new federal system would affect only dog and cat food, PFI has noted.

AAFCO said in its statement this week that a federal-led system would “significantly decrease the number of qualified inspectors in the marketplace” and reduce the regulatory oversight of pet food.

A completely federalized system would create “a loophole” for pet food manufacturers to avoid state inspections, sampling and the oversight of marketing claims, AAFCO claimed.

“In addition, prohibiting state-led inspections at manufacturing facilities across the country would eliminate the routine collection of tens of thousands of samples for potential contaminants or adulterants, which may dangerously impact animal health and reduce consumer confidence in the marketplace,” AAFCO said.

AAFCO acts as an intermediary between state, federal and international feed regulators with ingredient definitions, label standards and laboratory standards.

AAFCO’s annual Official Publication creates a legal listing recognized by states and other countries for ingredient definitions allowed on commercial feed labels.

Currently, some states are not members of AAFCO and do not have to accept its labeling terms.