The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) was formed in 1909 to establish a framework for uniform regulation of the feed industry. Although not a government agency, AAFCO operates within the guidelines of federal and state legislation including laws administered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
What does AAFCO do?
AAFCO establishes standards or models for regulations aimed at ensuring that manufacturers provide clear, accurate, and consistent information about animal feed, including pet food.
Every year AAFCO issues an Official Publication also referred to as the AAFCO Manual. This manual, in addition to listing ingredient definitions and feed terms, addresses labeling issues such as label format, ingredient lists, nutrition claims, and guaranteed analysis.
These model regulations are different than laws. However a large number of state governments have adopted AAFCO pet food model regulations into state law.
What is an AAFCO statement?
The "AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy or purpose" also called a "nutrition claim" or "complete and balanced statement" identifies which life stage and/or lifestyle the product has been approved for. Under AAFCO regulations, this statement must be substantiated by the manufacturer.