What is AAFCO?
You may have seen "AAFCO" on pet food labels and you will read about the organization on the PFI site. AAFCO plays an important role in the regulation of pet food.
AAFCO is an organization of state and federal officials who regulate pet food. AAFCO stands for the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Representatives of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and state regulators participate in AAFCO to develop uniform laws, regulations and rules for pet food products as well as feed products for livestock.
AAFCO also develops the definitions for pet food ingredients that can be found on cat and dog food labels.
For more information on AAFCO, read "AAFCO, A Colorful History” in the Fall 2011 issue of PFI Monitor.
Pet owners should take heart that cat and dog food is the most highly regulated food product, with the possible exception of infant formula.
All foods sold in the United States need to meet basic requirements that they be wholesome, truthfully labeled and free of harmful substances.
In addition, pet food products need to meet requirements that do not apply to the foods people eat. Pet food regulations cover issues including:
Check out our comparison of pet food and human food requirements) for a listing of requirements that pet food products meet beyond those that apply to human food.