CHAMPAIGN, ILL. — The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) announced June 3 that its Pet Food Committee voted not to establish a voluntary “controlled copper” claim for dog foods. 

Copper in dog food has come into the spotlight following an article entitled, “Is it time to reconsider current guidelines for copper content in commercial dog foods?” that was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) in February 2021. The article expressed concern on the current AAFCO nutritional guidelines for copper in dog food products. 

Following this, AAFCO established an expert panel to review veterinary literature and evaluate the need for a safe maximum tolerance for copper in dog food. The panel concluded that there was insufficient data to create such a limit and instead proposed a voluntary “controlled copper” claim. Then a Copper Claim Workgroup further evaluated the claim and asked for feedback from veterinarians, animal nutritionists, consumer groups and the public. 

On May 30, AAFCO’s Pet Food Committee reviewed all this and failed to reach a consensus, voting “no” on the proposed claim.

“AAFCO will continue to monitor new scientific literature as it becomes available and may consider the topic again in the future if additional data warrants another review,” the association shared.

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