October 27, 2015 | Erin | 10 Comments Safe For Your Pet – Whose Responsible? Pet food makers are regulated, on the federal level, by the FDA within their partnership with the Association of Amercian Feed Control Officials, or AAFCO. Ironically, the AAFCO is not under any government control, they do not perform any testing of pet food and they have no enforcement authority. After the massive recalls of 2007, the guidelines of the AAFCO reflect imput by an advisory panel that now includes advocates for consumers. What it did not do is develop a plan to consistently monitor the safety of pet food from state to state, or country to country. Problems can happen at any point in production and distribution and all agencies, whether federal or local, should be equally responsible for identifying and isolating tainted foods to ultimately ensure safety for our pets. On A Positive Note… Consumers now are more aware of the risks of imported pets foods. Unfortunately, regulations for product labels do not consistently tell us where all ingredients are from. Pet food products that are made locally can still have ingredients that have been imported. I have become a label reader when it comes to my pets, but the information listed does not always present a clear picture of where something was made. Listed may be the “distributed by” address, which is likely a US address. This information does not tell us where the product was made, though. I recently emailed a company of a popular snack food for dogs since it did not clearly say where the product came from. They told me that if the label did not state that it was made in China, that it was made in the US. I found this answer a bit troubling. It seems as if I am responsible for figuring out where a little beef treat for my dogs was made based on information I do not have. What this answer does tell me though, is that the task of providing food and treats that are safe for my pet is ultimately up to me.