AAFCO Action Requested

Association for Truth in Pet Food (ATPF) sent a simple question to the pet food agency responsible for state law governing pet food – AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) – on October 16, 2014. More than a month later, AAFCO has not responded.

We asked the simple question…(sent to the chair of the Pet Food Committee and the chair of the Ingredient Definitions Committee)…

In the OP, within the definitions of several ‘Animal Products’ definitions is the statement “It shall be suitable for use in animal food.” Can someone provide me an explanation of this statement? What does ‘suitable for use in animal food’ mean?

As explanation – the ‘OP’ mentioned above is the AAFCO publication that are the current laws that govern pet foods in most states – it is the AAFCO Official Publication. In order for pet food consumers to fully understand what they are purchasing for their pet (food and treats), consumers need to understand the fine print of pet food law. In turn, ATPF asked for an understanding of this particular legal fine print.

As of today (Noveber 24, 2014) – more than five weeks later – AAFCO has not provided us with a response to this one question.

The following message was sent to AAFCO today…

Richard and Jan –

On behalf of our consumer members, ATPF has to ask AAFCO why you have not provided a response to a simple question sent to you more than a month ago. We understand this is not an easy question. However, it is concerning why or how AAFCO can avoid responding to the question of what does ‘It shall be suitable for use in animal food” mean.

On the AAFCO website it states “The most important aspect of feed regulation is to provide protection for the consumer…” If AAFCO really does ‘protect the consumer’ then AAFCO should be willing to explain to the consumer what ‘it shall be suitable for use in animal food’ means.

Consumers want to know what they are feeding their pets, they want to know they can trust a pet food – after all, their pet’s life is at stake. How can consumers have trust in a pet food product if they are not provided with an understanding of the laws that govern pet food?

‘It shall be suitable for use in animal food’ is the foundation of the tremendous challenges consumers face when buying a safe and nutritious pet food. Is any diseased animal tissue rejected for use in human food (CPG 675.400 and 690.300)’suitable for use in animal food’? Is rodent or bird excreta contaminated food ‘suitable for use in animal food’? (CPG 675.100) Is pesticide contaminated, filth contaminated and chemical contaminated food ‘suitable for use in animal food’? (CPG 675.200)

Pet food consumers had no input on these federal legal loopholes, yet consumers must deal with the ramifications of them on a daily basis. Pet food consumers are asking AAFCO for clarification of AAFCO written regulation, yet AAFCO will not provide that clarification.

By not responding to questions sent on behalf of consumers, AAFCO is sending consumers a message. We have nothing else to think but ‘yes, AAFCO does believe all of this waste material is considered suitable for use in animal food’.

Association for Truth in Pet Food and its members finds none of this in ‘protection for the consumer’. If AAFCO wishes to protect consumers, clarification of ‘suitable for use in animal food’ needs to be provided. If AAFCO wishes to protect pet food consumers, every pet food label should be required to clearly state the true quality of ingredients (feed grade or food grade). When pet food consumers are kept in the dark – without clear explanation of what they are purchasing – consumers are left with nothing but to believe that AAFCO is choosing to aid industry – helping industry keep its diseased and filth contaminated secrets. Images of fresh meat and vegetables allowed to be displayed on the label when feed grade waste material is actually inside the bag or can is no protection of pet food consumers. I urge AAFCO to give pet food consumers consideration.

Susan Thixton
Association for Truth in Pet Food

There is no excuse for not responding to our questions. Consumers deserve the opportunity to fully understand the quality of ingredients they purchase in a pet food. Should AAFCO provide an explanation to ‘It shall be suitable for use in animal food’, it will be posted. The chair of the Ingredient Definitions Committee provided only the following in response to the above email…


As you indicated this is not a simple question. When the 3 volunteers I need to hear from have had time to provide input I will send you a response.

It will not be this week.

We wait.


Susan Thixton
Association for Truth in Pet Food

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