In these unfortunate days of virtual meetings, not as much is presented at the AAFCO meeting as when the meetings are live. For the most part, the regulators put all the information in the Feed BIN (Basic information network) and await comments. Pertinent information from the relevant committees is below.
(The Feed BIN is the electronic communication platform AAFCO uses to monitor their discussions. It’s basically a giant library, as long as you pay to participate in the library, and are granted access. In many cases, Joe Public is not granted full access as he/she is not a member of work groups etc.)
The Human Grade Work Group of the Pet Food Committee (PFC) has worked for the last two years to create a standard that could be administered by the USDA AMS. AMS is the marketing service of the USDA, a pay for play service. Just as for those pet food companies who wish to carry the “USDA Organic” seal on their label, when this process is finalized, pet food companies who wish to claim their ingredients are “human grade,” will have to pay the USDA to validate their processes. On the plus side, other than amending the definition of “Human Grade” to include comparable regulations to the 21 CFR part 117, the definition has not been changed. So for those of you who have the Human Grade designation, in the future, you will get to pay the USDA to validate that your food is indeed still “Human Grade.”
The Ingredient Definition Committee (IDC) continues to approve ingredients that would never be used by our manufacturers. Of course, in part, that’s probably because our manufacturers haven’t submitted anything to be discussed by the IDC. You know, because our ingredients are recognizable as food in the first place.
The only other presentation potentially of interest was a roundtable discussion with state and federal regulators discussing how COVID-19 has impacted inspections. Some inspections were accomplished virtually in 2020. There wasn’t much new there.
In the meantime, if you need any information from the 2021 AAFCO Official Publication and you are a member of Next Gen PFMA, feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will help you find the information you need. This is a benefit of membership; you don’t need to buy the $120 AAFCO OP. The organization already has done so.