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Understanding regulations affecting pet foods

David A Dzanis
Topics in Companion Animal Medicine 2008, 23 (3): 117-20
18656837
In the United States, pet foods are subject to regulation at both the federal and the state levels. The US Food and Drug Administration has jurisdiction over all animal feeds (including pet foods, treats, chews, supplements, and ingredients) in interstate commerce, which includes imported products. Many states adopt and enforce at least in part the Association of American Feed Control Officials Model Bill and Model Regulations for Pet Food and Specialty Pet Food. Thus, all pet foods in multi-state distribution are subject to a host of labeling requirements covering aspects such as product names, ingredient lists, nutrient content guarantees, and nutritional adequacy statements. Ingredients must be GRAS (generally recognized as safe) substances, approved food additives, or defined by Association of American Feed Control Officials for their intended use. Pet food labels may not bear claims that are false or misleading or that state or imply use for the treatment or prevention of disease. Pet foods that are found to be adulterated or misbranded may be subject to seizure or other enforcement actions.

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