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Author Topic: "Organic" Pet Food? USDA Pet Food Task Force Report, 2006  (Read 1653 times)
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« on: October 02, 2007, 06:35:20 AM »

Who is presently controlling pet food standards that are labeled "organic"? Look here
and decide for yourself whether organic pet food has any questionable ingredients
and who is already involved in controlling what is considered organic pet food.

NOSB Pet Food Task Force Interim Report
(a pdf version of this report is available at:

The National Organic Standards Board recommended in October 2004 that a Task Force be
formed to develop labeling standards for organic pet food. A Federal Register notice was
posted on January 24, 2005 to solicit nominations, and the Pet Food Task Force was selected
by NOP in May 2005. The Task Force includes individuals experienced in organic and conventional
pet food manufacture, consultants with organic expertise, as well as state and federal regulatory
authorities. The NOP has acknowledged in the Federal Register notice that pet food is “unregulated”
by NOP regulations, but that further consultation with the pet food industry and NOSB was needed to
craft specific regulations for organic pet food. The NOSB noted that the existing organic livestock
regulations may not be suitable for pet food application, as they restrict the use of mammalian products
fed to mammals, and do not allow a “Made with Organic” label claim. The existing human food processing
standards do not allow for use of natural feed additives and processing aids that are allowed in livestock feed.

In establishing the regulatory objectives for the Pet Food Task Force, the NOSB specifically asked the Task Force to:
• Determine which aspects of the existing regulation pertain to pet foods;
• If needed, draft amendments to the regulation for consideration by the full board; and
• Identify substances used by pet food manufacturers to be petitioned for possible addition to the National List.1
The organic Pet Food Task Force (PFTF) decided that the primary tasks should be undertaken in two phases:
1) Propose changes in the organic regulations to support labeling of organic pet food, and
2) Evaluate where any conflicts may exist between organic labeling claims and the existing state requirements
for pet food labeling, and propose remedies in collaboration with state officials.
At the present time, the PFTF has completed a draft proposal for organic regulation changes for public and NOSB
consideration: the interim report of pet food task force, submitted April 7, 2006. The PFTF will continue to work
further on evaluating any conflicts with state requirements, as embodied in the Association of American Feed Control
Officials (AAFCO) model Pet and Specialty Pet Food regulations. Organic pet food manufacturers will have to comply
with both the NOP regulations and existing state pet food regulations, so the goal will be to reconcile any conflicts
and propose guidance for the AAFCO officials in interpreting organic claims.
1 Recommendation on “National Organic Program Scope”, adopted by NOSB, as revised Oct.13, 2004
In the meantime, public comment on the pet food task force’s interim report is sought. Please submit comments by
September 1, 2006. With respect to the receipt of comments, the following provisions have been established:
• Mail: Persons may submit comments on the Pet Food Task Force Interim Report to:
Valerie Frances, Executive Director,
National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)
Room 4008-South Building
1400 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20250-0001
• E-mail: Comments may be sent via internet to:
• Fax: Comments may be sent via fax to (202) 205-7808
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