The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recently made several major advances toward their goal of modernizing pet food labels.
Among the recent developments, a pet nutrition facts box — similar to those found on human food packaging — has been proposed as a replacement to existing product content analysis and calorie content statements. While not completely identical to the human Nutrition Facts label, the Pet Nutrition Facts label is intended to be visually and functionally similar.
In addition to the revised content information, updates to nutritional adequacy statement requirements have also been proposed. Under the recently proposed requirements, pet food packaging would need to display a standardized graphic on the front that would indicate the sizes and life stages for which the food is formulated. Additional graphics would be required for foods not intended to be the primary source of nutrition and for those intended for use only under veterinary supervision.
While the proposed pet food label updates represent a large step forward, they have not yet been formally decided upon. AAFCO intends to collect additional data from consumers and other stakeholders before considering next steps for the proposed changes.