15.18.09.09

.09 Nutritional Adequacy.

A. General Requirements. In addition to the requirements for commercial feed provided by law, the following requirements of these regulations shall also apply to pet food and specialty pet food.

B. Nutritional Claim. The label of a pet food or specialty pet food that is intended for all life stages of the pet or specialty pet may include an unqualified claim, directly or indirectly, such as “complete and balanced”, “perfect”, “scientific”, or “100% nutritious” if at least one of the following apply:

(1) The product meets the nutrient requirements for all life stages established by an AAFCO-recognized nutrient profile;

(2) The product meets the criteria for all life stages as substantiated by completion of the appropriate AAFCO-recognized animal feeding protocol or protocols; or

(3) The product is a member of a product family that is nutritionally similar to a lead product containing a combination of ingredients that has been fed to a normal animal as the sole source of nourishment in accordance with the testing procedures established by AAFCO for all life stages, provided that;

(a) The nutritional similarity of the family product can be substantiated according to the Procedures for Establishing Pet Food Product Families developed by AAFCO (AAFCO Official Publication, pp 191, 2016);

(b) The family product meets the criteria for all life stages; and

(c) The Secretary may require the manufacturer to perform additional testing of the family product in order to substantiate the claim of nutritional adequacy.

C. Limited Purpose Nutritional Claim. The label of a pet food or specialty pet food that is intended for a limited purpose, such as the size of dog, or a specific life stage, but not for all life stages, may include a qualified claim such as “complete and balanced”, “perfect”, “scientific”, or “100% nutritious” if the product and claim meets all of the following:

(1) The claim is qualified with a statement of the limited purpose or specific life stage for which the product is intended or suitable, such as, “complete and balanced for puppies (or kittens),” and the claim and the required qualification shall be juxtaposed on the same label panel and in the same size, style and color print; and

(2) The product meets at least one of the following:

(a) The nutrient requirements for the limited purpose or specific life stage established by an AAFCO-recognized nutrient profile;

(b) The criteria for a limited purpose or a specific life stage as substantiated by completion of the appropriate AAFCO-recognized feeding protocol or protocols; or

(c) The requirements of a product family which is nutritionally similar to a lead product that contains a combination of ingredients which, when fed for the limited purpose, will satisfy the nutrient requirements for the limited purpose and has had its capabilities in this regard demonstrated by adequate testing, and provided that:

(i) The nutritional similarity of the family product can be substantiated according to the Procedures for Establishing Pet Food Product Families developed by AAFCO;

(ii) The family product meets the criteria for the limited purpose; and

(iii) The Secretary may require the manufacturer to perform additional testing of the family product in order to substantiate the claim of nutritional adequacy.

D. Dog and Cat Food Labels. Dog and cat food labels shall include a statement of nutritional adequacy or purpose of the product except when the dog or cat food is clearly and conspicuously identified on the principal display panel as a “snack”, “treat”, or “supplement”. The statement shall consist of one of the following.

(1) A claim that the dog or cat food meets the requirements of one or more of the recognized categories of nutritional adequacy: gestation/lactation, growth, maintenance, and all life stages.

(a) “(Name of product) is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog (or Cat) Food Nutrient Profiles for _________” (Blank is to be completed by using the stage or stages of the pet’s life, such as, gestation/lactation, growth, maintenance or the words “All Life Stages”).

(b) For a dog food, when the blank in Regulation .09D(1)(a)of this chapter includes the words “growth” or “All Life Stages”, one of the following phrases shall also be added verbatim to the end of the claim:

(i) “Including growth of large size dogs (70 lbs. or more as an adult)” if the product has been formulated to meet the levels of nutrients specifically referenced in the Dog Food Nutrient Profiles as being applicable to large size growing dogs; or

(ii) “Except for growth of large size dogs (70lbs/ or more as an adult)” if the product has not been formulated to meet the levels of nutrients specifically referenced in the Dog Food Nutrient Profiles as being applicable to large size growing dogs.

(c) “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that (Name of Product) provides complete and balanced nutrition for ______” (Blank is to be completed by using the stage or stages of the pet’s life tested, such as, gestation/lactation, growth, maintenance or the words “All Life Stages”).

(d) “(Name of Product) provides complete and balanced nutrition for ______ “ (Blank is to be completed by using the stage or stages of the pet’s life, such as, gestation/lactation, growth, maintenance or the words “All Life Stages”) and is comparable in nutritional adequacy to a product which has been substantiated using AAFCO feeding tests.”

(2) A nutritional or dietary claim for purposes other than those listed in Regulation .09 B or C of this chapter, if the claim is scientifically substantiated.

(3) The statement “This product is intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only,” if a product does not meet the requirements of this part or any other special nutritional or dietary need and so is suitable only for limited or intermittent or supplementary feeding.

E. Products Intended for Veterinarians. The label of a product intended for use by a veterinarian or under the direction of a veterinarian shall contain a statement in accordance with Regulation .09D of this chapter.

F. Affidavit for Product. A signed affidavit attesting that the product meets the requirements of Regulation .09B or C of this chapter shall be submitted to the Secretary upon request.

G. Products That Do Not Meet AAFCO Nutrient Requirements. If the nutrient content of a product does not meet those nutrient requirements established by an AAFCO-recognized nutrient profile or if no requirement has been established by an AAFCO recognized nutritional authority for the life stage or stages of the intended species, the claimed nutritional adequacy or purpose of the product shall be scientifically substantiated by the applicant for registration.

H. AAFCO Recognized Nutrient Requirements. The following AAFCO-recognized nutritional authority, nutrient profile, and animal feeding protocol are acceptable as the basis for a claim of nutritional adequacy:

(1) As an AAFCO-recognized nutrient profile or:

(a) For dogs, the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles;

(b) For cats, the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles;

(c) For specialty pets, the nutrient recommendations approved by the Committee on Animal Nutrition of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, provided that this nutrient recommendation is recognized only for the specific specialty pet for which the profile is intended; and

(2) As an AAFCO–recognized animal feeding protocol or protocols, the AAFCO Dog and Cat Food Feeding Protocols (AAFCO Official Publication, pp 176—190, 2016).