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Pet Food Institute Announces Support for New Federal Legislation to Modernize Pet Food Regulation

The proposed bill would give the FDA regulatory authority over the labeling and ingredient review process for dog and cat food and treats.

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(PRESS RELEASE) WASHINGTON, DC – The Pet Food Institute (PFI), whose members produce the vast majority of dog and cat food and treats in the United States, announced its support for new federal legislation that would modernize and streamline how pet food is regulated. Under the proposed bill, H.R.7380, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would have regulatory authority over the labeling and ingredient review process for dog and cat food and treats, replacing the outdated and inconsistent state-by-state approach currently used for ingredient and label approval.

“Dog and cat owners not only want to ensure the same high quality and safe pet foods they trust to nourish their beloved dogs and cats but expect the products to reflect the latest in nutritional science and ingredient innovation,” said PFI President and CEO Dana Brooks. “To continue delivering on that commitment, we are supporting federal legislation that would replace the current inefficient patchwork approach between states and the federal government with consistent national standards that are predictable, clearly defined, and encourage innovation and speed to market.”

The bipartisan legislation, called the Pet Food Uniform Regulatory Reform Act of 2024 (PURR Act), is sponsored by Reps. Jake LaTurner (R-Kan.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Sharice Davids (D-Kan.), Josh Harder (D-Calif.) and Steve Womack (R-Ark.).

“Pet food makers produce nearly 10 million tons of food annually and are crucial to American agriculture. Costly and outdated regulations have made it difficult for pet food manufacturers nationwide to invest in research and development for new and improved products,” said Rep. LaTurner. “I am proud to introduce the bipartisan PURR Act to eliminate red tape and allow pet food makers to deliver the best nutritional outcomes for our dogs and cats.”

The proposed legislation would provide for centralized federal regulatory oversight by the FDA and eliminate inconsistent state interpretations and decisions impacting ingredient and pet food label approvals that adversely affect consumer access to safe and nutritious products. The legislation calls for clearly defined performance measures for the FDA, including new ingredient review and approval timelines, overseen by the U.S. Congress.

“The PURR Act includes necessary reforms to streamline and update pet food regulations in the United States. I am pleased to cosponsor this bipartisan bill that will encourage innovation among pet food manufacturers while protecting the health and well-being of our pets,” said Congressman Cuellar, Ph.D. (TX-28).

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Under the new legislation, State Departments of Agriculture and other state officials would still engage in quality inspections and product registrations, but label and ingredient approvals would be streamlined under the FDA. The law would result in a modernized pet food regulatory framework more similar to how human foods are regulated.

“Pet food manufacturers deal with a confusing, costly, and conflicting dual regulatory system that hasn’t been updated in nearly 100 years. The PURR Act would streamline the outdated system by granting sole authority to the FDA to regulate the labeling and marketing of pet food while eliminating the state-by-state regulatory patchwork,” said Rep. Womack. “Whether the pet purrs or barks, the PURR Act’s regulatory clarity will help meet the needs of today’s pet owners and pet food makers in Arkansas’ Third.”

“Pet owners agree on the need for an uninterrupted supply of safe, high-quality, and innovative pet products, and now is the time for pet food regulations to be streamlined to better meet the needs of pets and pet owners in the 21st century and beyond,” Brooks concluded.

About Pet Food Institute

Established in 1958, PFI is the trade association and the voice of U.S. cat and dog food manufacturers. Our members account for the vast majority of the dog and cat food and treats made in the United States, with more than $60 billion in domestic annual dog and cat food and treats sales and annual exports of more than $2.4 billion. PFI membership also includes companies that supply ingredients, equipment, and services to dog and cat food makers. We are all proud to be feeding more than 186 million dogs and cats in U.S. households. Visit petfoodinstitute.org to learn more.

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