Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) create definitions for your pets food and treats (as well as for foods for Agricultural animals that you may consume) but you’re not allowed to see it unless you pay for attendance to their meetings.
AAFCO’s Official Publication (OP), which contains legally accepted pet and ag ingredient definitions, is a trademarked, privately owned book which limits public access to the information in it – information that affects public health.
As a result of their intentional secrecy, no one
knows who AAFCO is, says a recent AAFCO poll.
Upon finding out they are unrecognizable to the public, AAFCO decided to make a commercial. They want the public to think of AAFCO when they see “Complete and Balanced.”
AAFCO consists of the FDA, State Departments of Agriculture and lots of lobbyists (ok and a few other people… but that mostly sums it up). While AAFCO is not a regulatory agency, their willingness to do this work makes less work for the regulatory officials that attend their meetings. Therefore, any changes made through AAFCO, positive or negative, affect the FDA and States. Whether these regulators are acting ethically and fairly or not, their regulatory positions were created out of necessity. They are intended to be positions that support The People. Instead, in the case of their work with AAFCO, their work is hidden from the people, leaving manufacturers with the ability to be fully in compliance with law/policy when using industry trash as ingredients for your furry family members to eat. There are many amazing manufacturers on the market that do not take advantage of these shortcuts.
However, for the manufacturers that do use these ingredients, the problem lies within the regulatory apparatus who not only creates an environment that supports this behavior, but promotes it and limits alternatives. Therefore, pressure on the regulators is far more impactful than pressure on manufacturers when attempting to implement change in the industry.
What is the impact of an AAFCO commercial? Lack of awareness has led the pet food industry to where it is today. Because people don’t understand what’s in the AAFCO OP they unknowingly settle for whatever regulators and lobbyists decide should be in pet feed. When AAFCO definitions come under public scrutiny AAFCO will finally endure public pressures to improve their standards for our furry friends.
Some of AAFCO’s approved ingredients include:
8 pages on how to use feces and litter as feed ingredients,
“Distressed” and “salvage” pet food (aka expired, recalled, returned, damaged, overrun pet food.)
Some ingredients that aren’t in the AAFCO OP, and are therefore illegal to use in pet foods or treats, include:
How does this affect you and your audience? Pet Parents and Retailers can take more control over what goes in to their pets’ food. As pet parents learn that there is actual trash from food waste, rendering, biodiesel and other chemical industries they will begin to vote with their dollar and demand better. #KnowYourPetFood Increased demand for quality pet food means easier sales on better quality products, which warms independent pet supply store owners hearts!
Healthier feeding also does help keep independent pet supply stores in business. Competition with Petsmart, Petco, Amazon and Chewy makes it hard for independent retailers to survive. The cleanest, freshest foods on the market are not sold by corporate giants.
To learn more about AAFCO you can also visit:
https://TruthAboutPetFood.com – Susan Thixton
www.NGPFMA.org – Cathy Alinovi
Attend AAFCO meetings. Twice a year FDA and State DOA’s come together at AAFCO meetings with lobbyists from big kibble. Much of the AAFCO Official Publication shows that ingredient definitions are simply a way to legally purvey trash into “feed” (which you as a consumer may be misdirected to believe is food) for your pets and for the agricultural animals that humans consume. Come see for yourself every January and August. Your presence keeps them accountable and DOES influence the outcome of their conversations. #JoinTheConversation #KnowYourPetFood
Fast Fact: In 2016 and 2017 the Pet Food Industry lost $2.7 Billion – Could this indicate an increase in fresh feeding?