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FDA Pet Food Primer

The FDA offers a primer on animal feed on their website. Why should you care? Because Pet food, including dry and canned food and pet treats, is considered animal feed and the FDA regulates pet food and establishes standards for its labeling.

Here’s what the FDA says are the basics in regulating pet food:Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires animal feed (including pet food), like human foods, to: be pure and wholesome; be produced under sanitary conditions; contain no harmful substances; be truthfully labeled

In addition, “pet food labeling is regulated at two levels: federal and state. The federal regulations, enforced by FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, establish standards that apply to all animal feeds which includes: proper identification of the product; net quantity statement; manufacturer’s address; proper listing of ingredients Some states also enforce their own labeling regulations. Many of these follow the model pet food regulations of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), a non-government advisory body with representative regulatory officials from all the states. These model regulations are more specific than federal regulations, covering aspects of labeling such as product name, nutritional adequacy statement, feeding directions, and calorie statements.FDA carries out its animal feed regulatory responsibilities in cooperation with state and local partners, and works together with AAFCO on uniform feed ingredient definitions and proper labeling.”

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