The Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Association of American Feed Control Officials that allows the FDA to formally recognize the AAFCO list of feed ingredients.
The agreement also defines a role for the FDA to provide input on the suitability of feed ingredients on the AAFCO list.
A basic goal of AAFCO is to promote equitable laws, regulations, standards, definitions, and enforcement policies relevant to animal feed—which includes pet food. The association has no enforcement authority, though most members are state feed control officials.
An annual official publication from AAFCO lists ingredients that the association has found suitable for animal feeds. The publication includes ingredient definitions and standard names.
The FDA's formal recognition of the AAFCO list helps advance an existing agency initiative to develop a modern Animal Feed Safety System. The FDA established an ad hoc AFSS team four years ago to develop ways to improve the feed safety system in the United States.
The draft framework for the AFSS emphasizes the following components:
- Ingredients used in animal feeds are safe.
- The methods used to make, distribute, and use feeds result in safe products.
- Regulatory oversight is present at levels commensurate with risk to human and animal health.
- Training, education, and outreach activities keep stakeholders well-informed and ensure that FDA and state feed regulatory personnel are adequately trained.
The FDA has held four public meetings regarding the AFSS, and the agency continues to accept comments. Information about the AFSS, including the FDA's agreement with AAFCO, is available at www.fda.gov/cvm/AFSS.htm.