WASHINGTON, March 27, 2015 – The Food and Drug Administration has announced new steps to formalize definitions and standards of animal feed ingredients to bring them into accordance with federal law and regulations.

The FDA said the new strategy will increase transparency and affirm the safety of the animal food supply, as required by the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA) of 2007.

In a news release, the agency said it will review a list of animal food ingredient definitions used by state and industry officials contained in the Official Publication of the Association of American Feed Control Officials. AAFCO is a voluntary organization that includes regulatory officials from state and federal government agencies. It provides a forum for the officials to provide guidance and recommendations to ensure that the regulation of animal feeds is as uniform as possible from state to state.

The AAFCO publication includes FDA-approved food additives and ingredients that are generally recognized as safe (GRAS), as well as AAFCO-established definitions for other ingredients. The FDA intends to align AAFCO ingredient listings with the agency’s regulatory process and requirements in a proposed rule that will be open for public comment.

In the case of ingredients currently listed in the AAFCO Official Publication but are not FDA-approved or GRAS, FDA scientists will evaluate those ingredients. Depending on their evaluation, FDA will take one of the following options:

  • Publish information in the Federal Register calling for public comment before determining the ingredient to be GRAS.
  • Give FDA approval to the ingredient based on data and information
  • Require manufacturers of ingredients with insufficient data to submit a food additive petition to be allowed for continued legal use of the product in animal food. 
According to the FDA, animal food ingredient definitions do not generally vary widely across the industry, but this move will allow those standards and definitions to comply with federal law. The agency said it intends to work closely with industry representatives “to minimize disruption of animal food production and ensure transparency and clarify for both manufacturers and the public.”


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