AAFCO Requirements

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What is AAFCO
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a private and voluntary organization that establishes criteria for pet foods and animal feeds in the United States. As a non-profit association of federal, state, and local agencies, it is entrusted by the law to regulate the distribution and sale of feeds for animals, such as dog food, and animal prescription remedies. The organization determines and sets controls for feed and pet food ingredients, and establishes guidelines for nutritional adequacy.

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What are the labeling standards
The regulations cover the label that is attached to the pet food and also the information regarding the product in several varieties of media. Compliance with labeling regulations is subjective and depends significantly on the circumstances and conditions. For instance, wording that might be acceptable is small print may not be permitted in a larger font.

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Do new products pass AAFCO feeding trials, or are they just formulated to meet AAFCO requirements
Choosing products passed by AAFCO provides the assurance that they have been examined during various feeding trials and have performed favorably. Dog foods formulated to meet AAFCO requirements but have not been tested are presumed to function properly. Not many dog owners want their dog to be the subject of a trial feeding. AAFCO is the best program available currently for the evaluation of pet food products.

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How does it differ from the FDA
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) governs dietary supplements under a separate set of controls than those covering traditional drug products and foods, both prescription and over-the-counter. The FDA participates in AAFCO training sessions, meetings, and seminars and is a voting member to support state feed regulators and study shared feed concerns. The FDA plays a crucial role in many of AAFCO’s uniform activities. Additionally, the FDA passes judgment and provides expertise in ascertaining the reliable and efficient use of ingredients determined by AAFCO.
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