Is there any self-regulation by pet food manufacturers?

Answer:

  • Yes, there is self-regulation by pet food manufacturers, generally through compliance with standards imposed or recommended by pet food trade organizations of which they are members.
  • Many companies voluntarily commit to higher quality standards than currently required by law to ensure their pet food is wholesome, nutritious, and safe to eat.
  • Of their own accord, some manufacturers:
    • Employ food scientists, veterinarians, and PhD nutritionists to analyze ingredients to ensure precise formulation of the food.1,2
    • Select vendors based upon their stringent raw material safety standards. 1,2
    • Use advanced technology for quality checks during the manufacturing process. 1,2
    • Demand compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs).
  • The Pet Food Institute (PFI), founded in 1958,3 is a self-regulating association comprised of several pet food manufacturers in the U.S. Active members account for 98% of the commercial dog and cat food made in the U.S.3 Members voluntarily join PFI because of their commitment to advancing the safety and quality of pet food.1 PFI also:
    • Supports research to improve nutrition and safety standards.3
    • Represents the pet food industry before legislative and regulatory bodies of international, federal, and state governments.4
  • The American Pet Products Association (APPA), also founded in 1958, is a nonprofit trade association comprised of more than 1,000 international pet product manufacturers, representatives, importers, and suppliers.5 APPA membership is voluntary and strives to:
    • Promote and advance pet ownership and the pet products industry (including pet food manufacturers) 5
    • Conduct industry-related market research and educational seminars5
    • Empower its Government and Regulatory Affairs Department to monitor and respond to government legislation and regulation5
  • The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), founded in 1909, is a voluntary association that represents the business, legislative, and regulatory interests of the U.S. animal feed industry and its suppliers. More than 75% of the commercial feed in the U.S. is made by AFIA members.6 Its objective is to:
    • Communicate the U.S. feed industry’s best interests in federal and state legislation and regulation.6
    • Educate members on regulatory and legislative issues, developments, and requirements.6
    • Work with government, regulators, educators, and other organizations on important feed and animal agricultural issues.6
The Science Behind our Recommendations
1. Eirmann LE, Cowell C, Thompson L. Pet food safety: the role of government, manufacturers, and veterinarians. Compendium. 2012; 34(1): E1-E3. 2. Thompson A. Ingredients: where pet food starts. Top Companion Anim Med. 2008 Aug; 23(3): 127-32. 3. About PFI. The Pet Food Institute Website. http://www.petfoodinstitute.org/?page=About_PFI. Accessed January 6, 2014. 4. The Pet Food Institute/PFI. Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Website. http://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-1569_16979_21266-69576--,00.html. Accessed January 6, 2014. 5. APPA backgrounder. The American Pet Products Association Website. http://www.americanpetproducts.org/about_backgrounder.asp. Assessed January 7, 2014. 6. About AFIA. The American Feed Industry Association Website. http://www.afia.org/Afia/AboutAFIA.aspx. Accessed March 10, 2014.