The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a voluntary membership association of local, state and federal agencies in the United States. Its key role in regulation is to provide model bills and regulations for the production, labeling, distribution, and / or sale of animal feeds in the United States.
- Establish the name and definition of most ingredients (what it may or may not contain) for all animal feeds, including those for dogs, cats, horses, livestock, pocket pets, and exotics;
- Set nutritional criteria (minimums, and in some cases, maximums) for essential nutrients for dogs and cats. These AAFCO recommendations of nutritional adequacy are called the AAFCO Dog and Cat Food Nutrient Profiles. Two life stages for dogs and cats have been published: growth / reproduction and adult maintenance. There are no published nutrient profiles for senior life stages, large-breed dogs, or performance athletes.
- Provide guidance on all aspects of pet food and animal feed labeling.
AAFCO does not enforce these model regulations in the United States, but it does own and copyright protect the nutritional requirements of pet foods through the Memorandum of Understanding 225-07-7001 between AAFCO and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).