Are you thinking about putting a new pet food on the market? Maybe dog bones or cat treats? There is certain criteria that you should be aware of when it comes to the labeling. According to the FDA, “pet food labeling is regulated at two levels. The federal regulations, enforced by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…some states also enforce their own labeling regulations. Many states have adopted the model pet food regulations established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). ”
FDA regulations include: proper identification of product, net quantity statement (how much is in the container), manufacturers name and address and a proper list of ingredients.
Many states requirements include: product name (governed by four AAFCO rules regarding percentages of named ingredient in the total product), guaranteed analysis, nutritional adequacy statement, feeding directions and a calorie statement – all of which are dictated by the AAFCO.
Other label claim regulations to be aware of are the terms “natural” and “organic”. The AAFCO has developed a definition and guidelines for what types of ingredients can be considered “natural.” There are currently no rules governing the term “organic” but the USDA is currently working on establishing what kind of synthetic additives can be in pet food that is labeled “organic.”
Before you print your labels, know the federal and state laws that you will need to comply with; it could save you from an unnecessary costly reprint.