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If You See The New AAFCO Publicity Video… – Fact about Pet Meals

The AAFCO web site – on the very high of the homepage – has a brand new promotional video. Sadly, for anybody that views it, it is filled with deceptive info.

However first…earlier than you learn any additional, go to the AAFCO web site – – and watch the video. Pay attention to what you consider the video is saying about AAFCO, what AAFCO does. Then proceed to learn. And be happy to publish in feedback under (or electronic mail AAFCO immediately at relating to what you felt the video was saying and the way you felt after you realized extra about what AAFCO does and doesn’t do.

Now…right here’s the reality.

The video consists of segments from AAFCO President George Ferguson, and a number of segments from people AAFCO reportedly helps. Right here is the transcript of the second particular person – rancher “Chad” (daring added for emphasis):

We’re in northwest Colorado, we’re recognized for our winters. Sometimes on a standard winter now we have a number of foot of snow together with the chilly climate, so vitamin is essential throughout these months to make an operation productive. The animals, they must have good high quality vitamin to thrive. After I go to the grocery retailer and I look on a field or a can I wish to know that it’s the reality. It’s sincere and reliable. And so once I go to the feed retailer I anticipate the identical once I go to that feed bag. I wish to make sure that somebody is ensuring that info is appropriate so I could make my greatest choices for my animals.”

Sadly for this rancher and everybody that will get misled by this video – AAFCO does NOT ‘make sure that the data on a feed bag (or pet meals bag or can) is the reality’. The group doesn’t validate something on labels. AAFCO has no regulatory authority to carry feed/pet meals producers accountable for any label claims.

What’s true is that some members of AAFCO – as a part of their full-time job as a state Feed Official – would possibly validate some label claims. As instance, in some states pet meals and animal feed producers are required by state regulation to submit copies of labels of each product they promote to the regulatory authority of that state (equivalent to in Florida, per Florida regulation, producers are required to submit copies of all labels to the Florida Division of Agriculture). The regulatory authority has tens of hundreds of labels to supervise annually, so for sure little or no is definitely validated. At most, labels are checked to ensure they embrace the required info per that state’s legal guidelines.

However once more, AAFCO doesn’t do that – AAFCO has nothing to do with any sort of label validation. So why did AAFCO enable a phase of their promotional video that made viewers suppose the group validates the data on labels?


Within the subsequent phase of the video was a veterinarian. He said (daring added):

My title is Kelly Hepworth, I’m a veterinarian in Craig Colorado. I additionally elevate Labrador retrievers. I’ve individuals are available on a regular basis and ask me geez I simply bought this new pet. I ask them what they’re feeding. And there’s so many merchandise available on the market proper now. It’s overwhelming particularly in the event that they don’t perceive kinda what goes into them. We’ll sit down typically and pull up on the pc labels and examine. So I believe it is extremely crucial to have some avenue that we will predict evaluation and predict efficiency from the varied feeds we’re feeding.”

This veterinarian doesn’t perceive what AAFCO does and doesn’t do – and for some unknown purpose AAFCO allowed his uninformed opinion to be said of their video. AAFCO doesn’t – in any method – present to veterinarians or shoppers a technique to “predict evaluation” or “predict efficiency” of a pet meals. AAFCO doesn’t check (analyze) pet meals and AAFCO doesn’t carry out analysis research that may predict efficiency.

AAFCO has established nutrient profiles for canine and cat meals. Nevertheless, all full and balanced pet meals – per state legal guidelines (in most states) – are required to satisfy these requirements. However, that is required by state regulation – NOT by AAFCO.


The following phase of the video is a horse breeder. She said (daring added):

I’m Marty Yansen, we elevate Belgium draft horses. So it’s essential to know what’s in your feed. There’s tags on the feed bag, we all know how a lot of every mineral all of our horses are getting. After we feed them the pellets, it makes a distinction of their perspective. It makes a distinction of their work ethic, and it makes a distinction within the infants once they come.“

One other deceptive phase. Whether or not it’s horse feed or pet meals, a label doesn’t inform the patron “how a lot of every mineral” (or every other ingredient) the animal is getting within the feed/meals. On horse feeds, minerals are listed at minimal or most ranges. Labels don’t disclose precisely how a lot minerals or nutritional vitamins are included within the product.


The narrator within the video makes this assertion in the direction of the top:

Whereas science guides AAFCO and animal well being is at its core, individuals and collaboration are on the coronary heart of the all volunteer affiliation.”

It’s fairly a stretch to name AAFCO an “all volunteer affiliation“. AAFCO members – State Feed Officers and FDA representatives – be a part of AAFCO voluntarily (nobody forces them to be members). BUT, these State Feed and FDA officers take part in AAFCO as a part of their authorities job. They do NOT ‘volunteer’ to attend AAFCO conferences and pay their very own admission, airfare, and lodge charges. AAFCO members attend AAFCO conferences on the expense of their state or the federal authorities, required as a part of their authorities job.


Within the final phase from AAFCO President George Ferguson, he states (daring added):

Usually instances states could have considerations with a product manufactured in one other state. The benefit of being a member of AAFCO is that direct contact to regulatory officers the state the product was manufactured in. Having the ability to contact them and bridge the hole between you and the producer. That’s the place AAFCO actually excels.”

Really, anybody with a pc can lookup contact info for regulatory officers in any state (I’ve achieved it lots of of instances through the years). And anybody with a pc can lookup contact info for pet meals producers (I’ve achieved it hundreds of instances through the years). Nobody must be a member of AAFCO to have the ability to join with regulatory or producers. Sure, it’s important for regulatory authorities in numerous states to have the ability to join however is that what we want AAFCO to excel at? Offering cellphone numbers and electronic mail addresses?

Private opinion: The video says to me that for some unknown purpose AAFCO is making an attempt to blur the road between their personal group and precise authorities regulatory authorities. That is regarding.

As a non-public group, AAFCO is just not held to the requirements of conduct and ethics that authorities officers are (or may be) held to. As a non-public group, they mainly can do no matter they need. Historical past has proven us this prior to now when the group refused to permit a number of pet homeowners, advocates, and veterinarians to attend a gathering. Authorities conferences couldn’t do that, however AAFCO did.

One other instance of AAFCO doing no matter they need, the next electronic mail was despatched to AAFCO relating to my participation (representing shoppers) within the AAFCO Pet Meals Label Modernization working group. AAFCO was permitting the working group to vote on what pet meals label updates could be carried out. I used to be offering suggestions to the working group chair.

Mr. Stan Cook dinner supplied the next response to my suggestions. His response was typed into my electronic mail –

Mr. Cook dinner’s response is in blue coloured font under…

His assertion “It’s AAFCO’s celebration, we will invite who we wish to the celebration” is considerably comprehensible for a non-public group, however NOT an perspective that may be allowed inside a authorities company.

Thus, AAFCO making an attempt to blur the road between their personal group to authorities officers is worrisome.

AAFCO can actually publish a video that incorporates deceptive info, they’re a non-public group and might inform anybody something they need. Nevertheless, the federal government officers which might be members of AAFCO are held to sure guidelines of conduct. We intend to analyze this situation additional, and can report back to pet homeowners any new info.

Within the meantime, don’t consider what you might be being instructed on this video. Inform your pet proudly owning pals – and your veterinarian.

Wishing you and your pet the very best –

Susan Thixton
Pet Meals Security Advocate
Affiliation for Fact in Pet Meals

Change into a member of our pet meals client Affiliation. Affiliation for Fact in Pet Meals is a a stakeholder group representing the voice of pet meals shoppers at AAFCO and with FDA. Your membership helps representatives attend conferences and voice client considerations with regulatory authorities. Click on Right here to be taught extra.

What’s in Your Pet’s Meals?
Is your canine or cat consuming danger components?  Chinese language imports? Petsumer Report tells the ‘remainder of the story’ on over 5,000 cat meals, canine meals, and pet treats. 30 Day Satisfaction Assure. Click on Right here to preview Petsumer Report.

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The 2022 Checklist
Susan’s Checklist of trusted pet meals. Click on Right here to be taught extra.

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