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Aafco – An ‘independent’ Govt Committee full of private company ‘advisors’


aafco In the previous article we looked at the massive market power that the top 2 dog food companies exert in the world . They make up 90% of the revenues of the top ten global dog food companies. We also looked at why they prefer using inappropriate cheap grains, to genuine dog food like meat.

In this article we look at the final piece of the puzzle, AAFCO. If you had a government body setting the Gold dog food standard wouldn’t you want it to be completely independent and science based, not be driven by profit based companies?

You might think that, but here are some cold hard facts on how the major companies that are supposed to adhere to dog food standards are able to set those dog food standards to suit themselves, and their shareholders.

There is nowhere near as much money in dog food as oil and drugs, so this whole industry of collusion is usually allowed to self monitor, and in fact set standards that benefit setting up a monopoly.

In America “The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is responsible for regulating pet foods. The FDA monitors food branding to make certain that labels are not misleading and that the manufacturer is recorded on the label.” REF 1


AAFCO, (The Association of American Feed Control Officials)  ” is a voluntary organization, which is comprised largely of regulatory officials who have responsibility for enforcing their state’s laws and regulations concerning the safety of animal feeds. AAFCO  This should fall under the auspices of the FDA but according to the FDA “AAFCO is vital to the continued regulation of pet food products because FDA has limited enforcement resources that are focused on human food safety issues.” REF 1

” AAFCO advisors and committee members include representatives from major feed manufacturers and ingredient suppliers such as Nestle Purina, Hills Pet Nutrition, Nutro Products and Cargill Animal Nutrition.” REF 1

” Despite its regulations, AAFCO has no means of enforcement, nor do they perform any analytical testing of foods. Regardless, AAFCO’s regulations are adopted by most states (in America and all of Australia)” REF 1

How does aafco decide what is put into dog food ?

“AAFCO endeavours to protect the consumer through labelling requirements, ingredient requirements and nutritional requirements. Any dog food manufacturer that wants to make the claim that their food is ‘nutritionally complete’ must meet AAFCO’s nutritional requirements, feeding trial requirements, or produce a food similar to one which has met these requirements.” REF 1

These affco trials have been shown to be very short term, underfunded, have many options to deselect dogs that get sick on food, and do not take into account bio-diversity. Bio Diversity is a big part of the reason dogs should eat meat as 90% of their food and not the 30% they currently get.

“AAFCO states that a minimum of eight healthy dogs are required for one trial and that the trial must last a minimum of 26 weeks where only one formulation of food is tested and is the sole source of nutrition (except for water). A quarter of the dogs may be removed from the study for ‘non-nutritional reasons’ and data from the dogs removed from the trial does not need to be provided in the results.” REF 1

So what actually happens is that the companies with financial goals shape the standards (ie do not say what food sources should be used, or what forms of vitamins or minerals), but make the vitamin and mineral levels so high that they can only be achieved by the addition of vitamins and minerals (often not from natural sources and again, not bio available). While the aafco committees have may state government representatives on them, they seem to be the filler in the equation, and take a back seat to what the massive and powerful corporations want to see on the labels, and in the bags.

“The nutrient profiles set forth by AAFCO list minimum and maximum levels of intake for protein, fat, vitamin and mineral content of foods.” REF   NOTE the source (ie animal/ meat) or even a requirement for natural vitamins and minerals – as opposed to harsh non bio available chemicals).

” The source of food nutrients is not regulated by AAFCO. Protein can be derived from meat or from shoes, from human-grade chickens, or road kill. As long as it is protein, it meets AAFCO nutritional standards. Bioavailability and digestibility of nutrients are not a consideration for AAFCO.” REF 1

So what if you believe that affco standards and the way they administer feed trials or lab tests are all in the best interest of dogs, without any pressure from dog food companies?

This is where I like to bring up REF 2  as shown in the appendix.

I went onto the affco site and looked for the list of directors of the board, and also found the committee members and associates, but this list didn’t have full disclosure.

Looking a little further online I found this 2015  document AFFCO” Committees/Lab-Methods-and-Services”

This appears to be more the grass roots people who shape policy, or in the case of the states, stay clear of policy and just take what they are given. I have listed the Committee Participants in the appendix below and this is the findings.

There are a lot of state government people on the committee lots of dot gov email address. HOWEVER I have listed the for profit companies in red, and the private laboratories in green. It is just so damned convenient having the laboratories that are supposed to test the dog food sitting next to the companies that they are doing the testing for.

The amazing findings I had is how many NON government people (acting on behalf of their companies financial interest) are shaping affco policy.

There are very few meat based companies and a lot of grain based concerns. Even pesticide companies such as sdaglabs,

There are many PRIVATE labs like: Covance Labs, Romer Labs.

Mars and Nestle are also represented of course.

Then you have companies like Oil-Dri Corp who’s “mission is to Create Value From Sorbent Minerals”.  And SEM Minerals (“involved in the production, sale and distribution of private label trace mineral premixes, trace mineral ingredients “.  ‘Pharma Science’ sat on this committe and ” is the largest pharmaceutical employer in Quebec”

Ironic that companies such as this are now needed due to the artificially high level of vitamins and minerals in the affco standards.

There are also a smattering of “consultants” without a mention of who their clients are.


How is it that the non government companies on the affco committee seem to be all for profit companies and only ONE with an interest in livestock or meat.

That the two biggest dog food companies (who’s producers are grain based) have a say in proceedings.

That the labs that these dog food companies have their products tested at, are also sitting at the same table.

There are farming concerns and fertilizer concerns.

There are big pharmacy companies.

BUT ONLY ONE meat and livestock company.

If you didnt read the agenda of this committee you might swear that they were mostly there to make an artificial GMO rabbit or chicken. NOT a carnivore based dog.

So as you sit back in your chair in AUSTRALIA, and think that this has nothing to do with what your dog is eating – whether it is eating fully imported dog food from America or Australian made, the min and max amounts of ingredients, (and lack of oversite of the source, such as quality meat protein) are still ‘controlled’ by the AAFCO guidelines.

And remember this is how they are set:

1              FDA (AMERICA) should be in control of setting guidelines BUT say that  “AAFCO is vital to the continued regulation of pet food products because FDA has limited enforcement resources that are focused on human food safety issues.”  REF 1

2              ” AAFCO advisors and committee members include representatives from major feed manufacturers and ingredient suppliers such as Nestle Purina, Hills Pet Nutrition, Nutro Products and Cargill Animal Nutrition.” REF 1

3              ” Despite its regulations, AAFCO has no means of enforcement, nor do they perform any analytical testing of foods. Regardless, AAFCO’s regulations are adopted by most states (in America and ALL of Australia)” REF 1

Sill confused by why our Australian (carnivore) dogs eat a (CHEAP) grain based diet, and why 100% meat dog treats are vital to their daily nutrition ?



REF  1




Committee Report: · Committee Activities ACTION: Agenda Approval MOTION: “Motion to accept the agenda for the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Lab Methods and Services Committee” passes (all in favor)


RED =  Other FOR PROFIT companies

Committee Participants: (C *Committee members, ** Advisors)

Aaron Price* Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Lars Reimann** Eurofins Scientific Eurofins is an international group of laboratories headquartered in Luxembourg, providing testing and support services to the pharmaceutical, food, environmental and consumer products industries and to governments

Jeff Horst** AgriKing Inc. Agri-King provides livestock producers with a personalized nutritional program that offers flexible solutions to improve herd profitability and highly fortified products that perform in precisely balanced rations to achieve optimum herd health and performance.

Srinn Chianrupah FDA

Michael McLaughlin FDA/ORA

Jennifer Turpin Mars PetCare

Lawrence Novotny SD Dept. of Ag. – Retired We have had many great compliments regarding our pesticide program and have added many more active ingredients to our pesticide testing arsenal.  We have expanded our pesticide section including new instrumentation and more personnel to better serve our customers. Remember – we are your one-stop, specialty shop for pesticide analysis.

Olga Pechanova MS Chem Lab Located on the campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS, the Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory (MSCL) is a state appropriated regulatory agency for the State of Mississippi.

Becky Crabb CO Dept. of Ag

Dominika Kondratko* CO Dept. of Ag

Solomon Kariuki KY Regulatory Services

Cindy Foster MS State Chem Lab

Christina Childers MS State Chem Lab

Choe Eunstl Korea Nat. Ag. Qual Mgmt Service

Jeong Myeong Sil Korea Nat. Ag. Qual Mgmt Service

Gregory DeMattia Metrohm USA Metrohm AG is a leading provider of instruments and know-how for chemical analysis in the … United States of America: EN ..

Bill Hall** Mosaic   The Mosaic Company is a Fortune 500 company based in Plymouth, Minnesota, a Minneapolis suburb. Mosaic mines two key crop nutrients—phosphate and potash—and produces specialty products MicroEssentials, K-Mag and Pegasus

Rebekka Nakamura Cytozyme Laboratories, Inc. Cytozyme Laboratories, Inc. develops, manufactures, and supplies products and nutritional concepts for optimizing agricultural and animal production.

Jackie Lissolo ICM. Inc.  ICM is a company on the leading edge of an exciting industry—one dedicated to realizing every benefit of biofuels technology. Our equipment and processes are already used in the majority of U.S. ethanol plants, and we continue to develop processes to make ethanol production more efficient for our customers

Timothy Weigner FDA/ORA/OP

Teresa Y. Bills FDA/ORA/OP

Frank Sikora UK Div Reg Serv

Karla Zajac NM Dept. of Ag

Eric Sespico FL Dept. of Ag The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services supports and promotes Florida agriculture, protects the environment, safeguards consumers, and ensures the safety and wholesomeness of food.

Kirsten Larson APHL

Reggie Roybal CO Dept. of Ag.

Kristin Gilbert* NY Dept. of Ag

Roger Henderson Oil-Dri Corp. Our mission is to Create Value From Sorbent Minerals. Over the past 75 years we have become a leading manufacturer and supplier of high-quality sorbent products for consumer and business to business markets.

Bill Hirt** ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board

Don Burr* FDA / CFSAN

Andy Crawford** Consultant    Get an email address! It’s email without ads that works with your favorite email program, in your web browser, and on your mobile phone or tablet.

Sharon F. Webb* UK Div. of Reg. Services

Kristi McCallum* Colorado Dept. of Ag.

Ruiqing Pamboukian* FDA / ORA

Heidi Hickes* Montana Dept. of Ag Hhickes

Nancy Thiex* TLS / AAFCO Consultant   Principal at Thiex Laboratory Solutions LLC AOAC International   South Dakota State University

Ken McManus* Maryland Dept. of Ag.

Teresa Grant* North Carolina Dept. of Ag

Robert Sheridan* New York Dept. of Ag

Joshua Arbaugh* West Virginia Dept. of Ag

Alex MacDonald** Pharma Science Founded in 1983, Pharmascience Inc. is the largest pharmaceutical employer in Quebec with over 1 500 employees proudly headquartered in Montreal. Pharmascience Inc. is a full-service privately owned pharmaceutical company with strong roots in Canada and a growing global reach with product distribution in over 60 countries.

Brenda Snodgrass* Oklahoma Dept of Ag

Daniel Berg** Covance Laboratories We’re dedicated to advancing healthcare and delivering Solutions Made Real® by providing high-quality nonclinical, preclinical, clinical and commercialization services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to help reduce the time and costs associated with drug development.

Dorota Inerowicz* Office of Indiana State Chemist

Ken Riter** Nestle Purina

Mark Stenske* Michigan Dept of Ag and Rural Dev.

Gale Hagood* Mississippi State Chem Lab

Lei Tang* FDA/CVM

Ametra Berry Georgia Dept. of Ag

Barbara James Potash Corp. – Aurora PotashCorp is the world’s largest fertilizer company by capacity, producing potash (K), nitrogen (N) and phosphate (P). These primary crop nutrients are vital to maintaining healthy and productive soils.Our Canadian potash operations – the primary focus and namesake of our company – represent more than one-fifth of global capacity. To enhance our global footprint, we also have investments in four potash-related businesses in South America, the Middle East and Asia.

Gina Clapper AOCS AOCS is the preeminent scientific organization serving the field of fats, oils and … AOCS brings together individuals and organizations through its membership, ..

David Levin Covance Labs

Evelyn Cadman We provide detailed label reviews for foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics and more.  Our standard review service includes unlimited questions regarding the review for 30 days as well as a review of the revised label within 30 days.  We can also review your brochures, website and other marketing materials for compliance with FDA & FTC regulations.

Yvonne Salfinger AFDO consultant Association of Food and Drug Officials

Abigail Hiles Romer Labs   Romer Labs is a leading global supplier of diagnostic solutions for food and feed safety. We offer a broad range of innovative testing solutions and services covering mycotoxins, food pathogens, food allergens, gluten, GMO, veterinary drug residues, and other food contaminants.

Mary Koestner Missouri Dept of Ag

Isaiah Isakson FDA/ORA

Jimmie Ward Mars Petcare

Paul Mostyn Westway Feed Products LLC   For people that value working with a company that is committed to helping them succeed, Westway Feed Products is the global supplier of agricultural-based liquid solutions with the resources, service, technical support and collaborative culture to understand and meet their needs through products and solutions that help them thrive, not just survive.

Keith Mizwicki SEM Minerals   All of the mineral companies are involved in the production, sale and distribution of private label trace mineral premixes, trace mineral ingredients, private label phosphate mineral products (except SEM Minerals, L.P.), mineral ingredients, specialty pet food ingredients and premixes and complementing ingredients such as amino acids, choline chloride, yeast culture, urea, etc.

Patty Lucas Florida Dept. of Ag. & Consumer Serv.

Patty Lucas Florida Dept. of Ag. & Consumer Serv.


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