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The Harmonization of Law and

Science in Pet Food Regulation

Catie Harwood, Natalie Baugh, Angelica Dominguez,
and Lindsey Karasawa


According to the 2015-2016 National

Pet Owners Survey by the American
Pet Products Manufacturers
Association, approximately 65% of
American households own a pet

Equates to about 79.7 million U.S. homes

on average per year

The survey also revealed that

$23.05 billion was spent on pet
food alone within the U.S. market
in 2015

History of Pet Food

First publication of pet food:

Sportsmans Dictionary (1700s)

Pet food reference guide listed ingredients:

wheat, skimmed milk,broth, boiled meat; no
exact measurements

The Complete Farrier (1833)

First to indicate that vegetables should be

included in pets diets

Spratts Patented Meat Dog Cakes

First patented form of dog biscuits by James

Made of wheat, vegetables, beetroot and meat

Canned Foods- 1940s

1960s- Pet Food Diversifies

Pet Food Recalls

Brought forth by FDA or voluntarily by

company due to contamination, chemical
adulteration, and/or excess product at
a dangerous amount
Blue Buffalo Company: Cub Size
Wilderness Wild Chew Bones because of
the potential of Salmonella
contamination as of November 25, 2015

Symptoms:fever, apdominal pain, decreased

appetite, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.

Halo, Purely for Pets issued a

voluntary recall of Sensitive Cat
Turkey Dry Food due to mold as of
October 26, 2015

May experience digestive issues, especially

for sensitive cats, which is who the food is

Labeling Regulations

Nutritionally complete or compliment food

Ingredients need to be shown in descending
order based upon weight
Some nutrients do not necessarily need to
be included in the ingredients list
Ex. Vitamins
Additives need to be described either by
category or chemical name
Unacceptable for distributors to list any
products on the food labels that are not
present in the product
Cannot state that the product aids in
preventing or helping to cure a disease.
Cannot include any ingredients that may be
toxic or cause deficiencies of other

Integrity of PEt food Labeling: Flawed

Labels regulated by the

No pre-market approval of
pet food products required
Presence of animal
products found in pet food
that are not documented on
the label.
No warnings for
undercooked or raw

-ex. Salmonella

Labeling Misconceptions and Dishonesty

Ingredients may have a more general label, not specifying

exactly what ingredients the food contains

Ex: rodent meat, roaches and bird excreta

Other ingredients commonly found in pet food

include:melamine-contaminated wheat gluten, higher rates of
mycotoxins, pentobarbital, Butylated Hydroxyanisole, Butylated

Hydroxytoluene, Ethoxyquin, Blue 2, Red 40,

Yellow 5 and 6

Misconceptions and adverse Symptoms

Label verbiage

Ex. With beef vs. Meat and

animal derivatives

Allergic reactions

Ear infections

Cutaneous irritation


Science of Pet food Production

More than 60% of dry kibble is extruded.
Some of the effects of Extrusion are

Gelatinization of Starches
Increased solubility of dietary fiber
Maillard Reaction
Amino Acid Retention
Vitamin and Mineral Content

The Extrusion Process

Gelatinization of Starch

Gelatinization makes
starches easier to

Photo Credit:

Dietary Fiber

Fiber is the edible part of the plant that is resistant

to digestion (American Association of Cereal Chemist).
Depending on the type of extrusion process, the
ingredients may be made to look more fibrous than their
true form.
The extrusion process works to

solubilize large starch molecules

rather than small ones

Photo Credit:

The Maillard Reaction

Amino Acid Retention

Protein makes up 25-75% of pet food ingredients

Lysine is the most limiting amino acid in extruded foods.
Arginine, histidine, aspartic acid and serine are also
reduced significantly in extruded products.

Photo Credit:

Vitamin and Mineral Content

The stability depends on temperature, light, oxygen, time

exposed to heat, and pH.
Vitamin D and K are relatively stable.
Vitamin A, C, and E, carotenoids and tocopherols are more
easily destroyed.
Minerals are more durable and can often withstand the
extrusion process.
Extrusion makes minerals easier to absorb due to the
destruction of Phyates.

Conclusion: What now?

Harmonization of science and law will require...

A more heavily regulated quality assurance and safety

Acceptance of nutrient analysis and how the

methods of processing affect the quality of


Stricter regulation on the ingredients

Allowed in the pet food products