Upcoming label changes for carbohydrates in pet food | 2021-02-05

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KANSAS CITY, MO. — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) is keeping close tabs on a recent development that will result in an updated ingredient definition and labeling requirements for carbohydrates in pet food.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) held its Mid-Year Meeting on Jan. 19, during which a working group proposed label changes for guaranteed analyses of carbohydrates in pet food, as part of an ongoing pet food modernization initiative.

The report was approved at this meeting and a deadline of April 1 was set for collecting feedback on the proposed changes. The group plans to host a webinar to further discuss these proposed changes in March but has not yet set a date.

“The consensus seemed to be that total carbohydrates should be guaranteed along with total dietary fiber and sugar guarantees,” said Erin Bubb, president of AAFCO, during a pre-recorded recap of the Mid-Year Meeting presented during AFIA’s Pet Food Conference on Jan. 26. “The workgroup [Pet Food Nutrition Facts Box] will continue work to address the concerns surrounding the carbohydrate and fiber guarantees, most of which seem to stem from lab methodology and the use of appropriate nutritional guarantees.”

During the Mid-Year Meeting, Dr. Bill Burkholder of the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) expressed concerns about these label changes for the guaranteed analysis of carbohydrates.

In an email to AFIA members, Louise Calderwood, director of regulatory affairs for AFIA, said  there appears to be more work to be done on the issue of carbohydrate analysis.,.

AFIA has requested an extended deadline for pet food processors and industry members to review the report and provide feedback. In the meantime, AFIA is urging pet food manufacturers to review the working group report before the April 1 deadline to understand if and how the label changes will affect individual brands and labeling practices.

The report can be found starting on page 18 of the PDF version of AAFCO’s Mid-Year Agenda Book.

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